Thursday, December 31, 2015

Early Moring House Fire Damages Longview Home (Photo)


News Release from Longview Police & Fire
Posted on FlashAlert: December 31st, 2015 10:24 AM
Downloadable file: Crews on Roof Venting
Downloadable file: Bedroom damage
Downloadable file: Living Room
Downloadable file: Interior Door
Downloadable file: Burned out stairway
At 5:09 AM Longview Fire was dispatched to 315 20th Ave for a reported structure fire. Reports from a neighbor described thick dark smoke from the roof. While responding, fire units could see a diffused layer of smoke in the neighborhood.
Longview Fire arrived 3 minutes after the initial dispatch (0512 hrs) and reported flames visible from the front door and initiated a fire attack and search for possible victims. The initial fire on the first floor was quickly knocked-down, however, the home was filled with superheated fire gases and fire was still active in the upstairs and attic space. To further complicate extinguishment efforts, the staircase leading upstairs had suffered significant fire damage, requiring a ladder to access the upstairs bedroom.
The fire required vertical ventilation to release the superheated fire gases upstairs and in the attic. Fire crews from Longview Fire and Cowlitz Fire District #2 put the fire under control approximately 20 minutes after arrival, and were on-scene approximately 2 ?1/2 hours conducting salvage and overhaul of the deep seated fire.
The occupants of the single family residence were home at the time of the fire and were alerted by a neighbor pounding on the door. All occupants were able to self-rescue, including three children, and no injuries were reported.
Fire investigators believe the fire started from a space heater that was placed too close to combustible material (clothing etc). The home did not have any working smoke alarms. Longview Fire reminds everyone that "Space Heaters Need Space", and to keep space heaters and heating appliances at least 3' from combustible materials, including furniture, bedding, drapery, boxes, and clothing.
The structure received significant damage gutting the entire downstairs and causing considerable structural damage to the upstairs. The home in not habitable and has been turned over to the property owner.
The American Red Cross Cascade Region has been dispatched to evaluate the situation and provide assistance with the displaced family.
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