By Heidi Zemach for SCN –
Seward and Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Departments fought, and successfully extinguished a wood stove-caused house fire at 1904 Forget Me Not Circle late on the evening of May 5th before it caused excessive damage. The departments were toned out at 10:52 p.m. for a stack fire in a two story residence that might be getting into the trees, said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Mathis, the on-scene Incident Commander. And the first engine arrived on scene just five minutes later
One of the owners heard the fire in the walls and saw the glow outside, and got the family outside. Their neighbors responded at about the time time they did, and one did a fantastic job helping to get garden hoses on the fire while they waited for the fire department.
The fire apparently started in the wood stove’s chimney chase, and had begun burning into the roof and was trying to burn into the structure when the fire department arrived. By that time two more city engines were on route, and a third engine from Bear Creek had been called.
The firefighters began their two-pronged attack, knocking down the fire on the outside of the building and on the roof with a hose, and sending a crew inside to break through the sheet rock into the attic. The fire had come into the attic space, but had not entered the second floor. The firefighters were able to extinguish the fire at the roof level, and it was completely under control six minutes past midnight. Only a little water damage was sustained in the house and there was not too much smoke damage, although the wooden shake shingle roof was badly damaged, and there was burn through around the chimney chase itself, Mathis said. He estimated the damage at around $52,000.
The two fire department’s did “a really, really good job,” and were pleased at being able to stop the fire from burning the structure further, Mathis said. They also managed to avoid water damage on the first floor by covering and moving furniture and other things out of the area .
Sixteen people and four units from Seward and six people and one engine from Bear Creek responded.
–In other fire department news,
the Seward Fire Department has a new mascot to look after it. A chainsaw-carved wooden firefighter in full turnout gear was mounted outside the fire station last Wednesday, after receiving some final touch ups. The firefighter was carved by Lieutenant Austin Chapman, and presented to the department during the awards banquet in February. It sports a helmet, air pack, radio, and turnout gear, and is “pretty cool,” said Mathis. Everyone especially appreciates that it was made by one of their own.
(Note: After hearing from the owners, and carver there were some corrections made to this story: including that the carving was not a bear, but a human fire fighter, and that a neighbor did not alert the residents that their home was on fire. I apologize. Heidi Z)