Friday, January 20, 2012

House fire - the first one there

A house in my neighborhood caught fire while I was out for a walk this afternoon.

I saw black smoke coming from an open garage, looked in and saw some furniture and other stuff burning. Called 911 and started beating on the front door.

A guy finally came running out in sweat pants and a T-shirt. I grabbed a few seconds of video until the resident asked to borrow my phone.

"Daddy, I burned down Momma's house," he said, crying. He said he had cleaned out a fireplace and put the ashes in his garage.

A cop rolled up and we checked the adjoining houses as the fire spread to fully involve the first house. Nobody else was around. I think the heat probably damaged some nearby siding, but the fire trucks arrived and got it put out.

Two things really struck me: First, how quickly the fire spread. When I arrived it looked like a small garage fire. But by the time the trucks arrived a few minutes later it was really going. Second, the surreal feeling that, is this really happening? Where is everybody? Who owns this house and where is he?

It's an odd feeling. I've been to plenty of fires, but I've never been the first one there....

Here's a look at the fire department's news release:

Working Residence Fire
Cardinal Cove Sub Division
1 Story Wood Frame Residence
Dispatched at 3:20pm
Several calls to 911 dispatchers reporting an fully involved residence/upgrading to working at 3:22pm while units enroute
Engine 17on scene at 3:26pm reporting a working fire

Aggressive Interior Attack
Fire under control at 3:46pm
11 IFD Units dispatched
2 attack lines/ 2 supply lines utilized
Primary search and secondary search all clear
No firefighter injuries reported
Battalion Chief Curtis Gregory : Damage Estimated at $150,000
Cause and Origin: Box of hot embers/ashes moved to garage from inside fireplace

Multiple calls coming into 911 reporting a fully involved residence in the Cardinal Cove Sub-Division forced dispatchers to upgrade this incident to a working fire before fire units arrived on the scene.

Engine 17 arrived first confirming the working fire, reporting heavy fire showing and all occupants out of the residence. The fire was marked under control in just under 30 minutes with no injuries to report.

(The resident) 35, who shares the home with his mother, stated he had just removed some hot ashes from the fireplace to his garage. Several minutes later a neighbor informed him that his garage was on fire and that the fire was spreading quickly across the back of his home.

Within in minutes the house was fully involved and the (residents) had lost everything in their home. IFD Victims Assistance arrived on the scene to help the family with temporary living arrangements until further accommodations can be made. There are no injuries to report.


1 comment:

  1. Mr. Strauss, my name is Jason Barnett, I am a Fire Investigator with Barnett Forensic Services. My firm has been retained regarding this fire. If I may, I would like to ask for a copy of this video so I can put it in my file. Feel free to contact me via email at
    Jason Barnett