Firefighters were able to save a Westport home that was close to becoming a total loss from a chimney fire over the weekend. Battalion Chief Dennis Benn said in a press release that it was the difference between $8,000 in damages and the loss of the home worth hundreds of thousands.
Benn said they were called to the 900 block of North Adams Street just after 3 pm Saturday to find white smoke coming from the chimney, as well as from the eves of the first and second stories of the home. There was also a man on the roof pouring water down the chimney with a garden hose.
Engine 311 was first to arrive on scene, just 8 minutes after time of dispatch. Keep in mind, this was a “second out call” the primary response crew, was on another assignment, a medical call which required transport to Grays Harbor Community Hospital. So, the first arriving engine was staffed with three volunteers and one paid personnel.
Arriving on scene, conditions were: Two story, single family residence, approximately 1,500 square feet, Type five construction. White smoke coming from the chimney and from the eves of the first and second story on the South end of the home. (Delta side). There was a male on the roof of the second story, with a garden hose, putting water down the chimney.
Fire crews made entry through the front door, (A side). First floor had very light laminar smoke, the firefighters made their way up the stairs to the second floor, and discovered thicker smoke conditions and heat signatures on the interior of the South wall.
The firefighters worked quickly to discover that the seat of the fire was below the floor, into the crawl-space area. The firefighters were able to gain access to the crawl space. Interior fire crews were switched out several times throughout the course of the event.
The fourteen firefighters we had on scene did an excellent job of quickly containing and extinguishing this fire, which was in hidden space’s and below grade, in the crawl space.
I believe that it was a matter of minutes between this save, and a total loss of the structure.
The home sustained approximately Eight Thousand dollars of damage. The save was in the hundreds of thousands. The cause of the fire, is currently under investigation.
South Beach Regional Fire Authority would like to remind the citizens they serve, to have your chimney professionally cleaned at least once a year and to make certain you have working smoke detectors in your home.