The fire department was dispatched around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday to a house fire at 4110 8th Ave. Upon arrival, firefighters encountered heavy fire conditions.
“The fire was well advanced before notification of the fire department. Interior fires crews managed to knock down the bulk of the fire, but the fire had traveled up the wall and extended into the attic space,” Fire Chief Eric Taylor.
“Thick tongue and groove flooring in the attic area hampered access to the seat of the traveling fire. Our crews knew where the fire was located, it was just very difficult to get water on it.”
The home owner told fire investigators that he had placed an electric space heater in the bathroom attempting to thaw frozen water lines. He left the home to take his children to school and had been gone less than an hour before the fire was reported. The preliminary fire investigation holds consistent with the home owner’s report.
Firefighters battled bitterly cold temperatures, strong wind and icy pavement created by the fire streams. Extra firefighters were called in to assist the initial crews.
The home is owned and occupied by Scott Cox. He lives there with his wife and three children. It is considered a total loss and the American Red Cross responded to assist the family. The home next door at 4112 8th Ave sustained approximately $3,000 damage to the vinyl siding.
“In an effort to prevent frozen water lines, we recommend that the faucets be allowed to drip a little. If the lines do freeze, we recommend that a hair dryer is used to thaw the lines,” says Captain Tim Flinn.
Fire officials urge the public to use extreme caution with space heaters. They should never be left unattended and it is recommended to allow at least 36″ clearance from anything combustible.
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Working in such cold conditions can be very dangerous and glad that no one was hurt. Prayers are with the family who lost their home.