GALLIPOLIS — The Gallipolis Volunteer Fire Department quenched a one-room fire in a two-story house on Neighborhood Road Christmas Eve after receiving calls about smoke.
According to Gallia County 911 Center call records, callers asked for firefighter assistance around 11:50 a.m. Records indicate smoke was seen from coming through the roof of the structure.
“It was a house fire,” said Mike Null, Gallipolis assistant fire chief. “A two-story structure, it’s an older one. The fire apparently started in the laundry room. Beyond that, we don’t really know because that’s what the investigator is going to check out now. Some of us think it started in the laundry room, but the fire investigators may tell us otherwise.”
According to Null, there was a woman with two children home at the time of the incident. The smoke detector worked and woke up the family and they proceeded to escape the residence. Null credits the smoke detector with not only saving the family but also an “immense amount of the house.”
Null said the detector had detected the fire in its earliest stages where it allowed firefighters to contain the flame relatively quickly and confined it to one room.
“The corner (the fire was in) allegedly didn’t seem to have any electric wire, just clothes,” Null said. “Where the washer and dryer was didn’t seem to be where most of the burns were.”
Three trucks appeared on the scene of the fire. Only one needed to use water to help put the flames out. Null said he also credited the quick fire quenching because of several firefighters living nearby in the area.
“We had people readily available,” Null said. “(The American) Red Cross was called and from what I’m led to believe they did provide assistance (to the family) to hold them over for a few days.”
Null told the Tribune that when the state hands out smoke detectors, they will often leave them in the hands of local fire stations. Members of the public may call in and ask to be put on a list to acquire a fire detector. Some detectors come with batteries that can last up to a decade of use.
Section 3781.104 of the Ohio Revised Code states for apartments and condominiums that “each dwelling unit shall have smoke detector devices approved by the board and installed in the immediate vicinity but outside of all sleeping rooms. Alarm signaling devices shall be clearly audible in all bedrooms within the dwelling unit when all intervening doors are closed. For the purpose of installation and maintenance only, the applicable sections of the national fire prevention association standard No. 74 ‘standard for the installation, maintenance and use of a household fire warning system’ shall be considered accepted engineering practice.”
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.