Family Escapes; Home Extensively Damaged in Fire - The Missourian: Washington

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Family Escapes; Home Extensively Damaged in Fire

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Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2014 1:00 pm

There were no injuries in a house fire that broke out at 421 High St. Wednesday afternoon, according to Washington Fire Chief Bill Halmich.

Crews were called to the scene just after 2:30 p.m. Upon arrival, smoke was showing from the second floor of the 1 1/2-story home.

All nine occupants, including seven children, were accounted for when the fire department arrived, Halmich said. Children ranged in age from one to 18 years old.

Open windows on the second floor helped the fire spread to concealed spaces behind walls, he said, adding that crews were on the scene for about two hours.

“We knocked down the fire within five minutes of arrival,” Halmich said. “The rest of the time was spent overhauling the fire.”

Overhauling is when crews open walls, ceilings and other closed spaces to check for fire.

According to Halmich, the fire began in a bedroom of the older-style home.

Franklin County Arson Investigator Jim Schumacher was called to the home, which is routine in house fires.

Preliminary investigations link the fire to either a space heater or electrical circuit, which both were near the fire’s point of origin.

The home is owned by Jason and Melissa Reynolds. Daniel J. Long was renting it from the homeowners.

There was extensive damage on the second floor, as well as smoke and water damage on the first floor.

The fire department notified the Red Cross to help the family find a temporary place to stay. The home is not inhabitable.

A total of 26 firefighters, all with the Washington district, used two pumpers, a ladder truck and a rescue squad at the site.

There were smoke detectors in the home, which Halmich said did their job in alerting the family of the fire.

/local_news/washington

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