Lake Mitchell House Fire Update
by Maren Larson
January 02, 2012 6:02 PM
Flames engulfed a home on Lake Mitchell early Monday morning. Officials say the call for a structure fire came in at about 6:20 a.m. when neighbors reported seeing flames coming from the house.
Responders say the house is used as a vacation home so no one was there when the fire started. Mitchell's Fire Chief Paul Morris says one fire truck with five firefighters on board arrived on scene shortly after 6:30 a.m. But once the crew got there, they saw the extent of the fire and called for a second alarm.
"The house was completely filled with flames,” said Morris. “The fire had vented through the roof so there was going to be no entry.”
Since responders couldn't get into the home, Morris says their job was to contain the flames.
"The arriving crews’ initial concern was that they had a structure just to the west of the primary residence that was on fire and they had a structure to the east of that,” said Morris.
With three trucks and 12 firefighters on scene, crews were able to save all of the surrounding structures, including a neighboring home that was only about 20 feet from the fire.
"Because it was so cold Monday morning, they were able to get enough water to form a sheet of ice under the sides and top of the house; so it made for a nice barrier,” said Morris.
According to fire crews, the home is a total loss. But responders say they are thankful that no one, including crewmembers, was hurt.
"The lack of snow this season has actually turned into a blessing for us as far as being able to do our job,” said Morris.
Because of the amount of water needed to contain the fire, much of the surrounding surfaces were covered in ice; which Morris says is one of the challenges of fighting fires in the winter. But he says his crew suffered no injuries while fighting the flames.
Fire investigators were on scene Monday morning, but officials say the scene was still too hot so the cause of the fire is still unknown. Firefighters say they will be on scene throughout most of the day to monitor hot spots.
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