Quick action by neighbor minimizes fire damage, saves pets at home in the Willows

by Contributed Content on May 3, 2016


A neighbor noticed smoke coming from a home on Concord Drive in the Willows late Monday afternoon and heard a smoke detector sounding inside the home. The neighbor called 911, entered the home, and found a dryer on fire on the second floor. Before leaving the structure, the neighbor saved the family dog and bird by evacuating them from the burning structure.

Captain Rob Johnson and his crew located the fire at the top of the stairs on the second floor. “Hot dark smoke had banked all the way down to the floor but we found a laundry station at the top of the stairs with fire starting to spread laterally down both sides of the hallway from the dryer,” he said.

Firefighters made quick work of the fire which was declared under control shortly after 5:00 pm, but the second floor sustained significant fire, heat and smoke damage while the first floor suffered some water damage, primarily from a melted water line to the washing machine.

Twenty two firefighters responded with five fire engines, one aerial ladder truck and two battalion command vehicles. No injuries were reported. Fire investigators determined the fire had started either around, near, or in the dryer itself, and the fire is still under investigation.

Investigators estimate at least $100,000 in structural damage and that much or more in property damage. The five occupants were not home at the time of the fire, and the 2200 square foot structure is no longer habitable so the family will be displaced by the fire until the home can be repaired.

“The attentiveness and quick thinking of the neighbor saved not only the family pets but essentially the structure itself,” said  Battalion Chief Ben Mara. “The entire second floor would have been on fire in just a few more minutes if it wasn’t for the neighbors quick actions.”

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