Local Firefighters have had their work cut out for them recently with three structure fires in one week. If it seems to you that we’ve had a lot of fires lately, you’re not alone. Fire officials have also noticed the alarming trend.
After dealing with a house fire on North Greenwood Street on Monday, La-Grange Fighters never expected to have to respond to two more fires throughout the week.
The first of the subsequent pair of fires occurred Friday morning. LaGrange Fire Department Firefighters were called to the 1100 block of Second Avenue around 7:34 a.m. and found a heavy smoke coming from a vacant residence that could be seen from several blocks away.
LaGrange Firefighters arrived on and found the wood framed structure fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters checked out the structure and began to extinguish the fire, but were initially unable to enter due to extreme heat and fire conditions.
Eventually, firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control about an hour and a half later.
Once the fire was fought back enough so that they could enter, firefighters searched the structure for possible persons trapped, but no one was inside the building.
Fire officials say the house sustained significant fire damage and will be considered a total loss.
The fire was also suspicious in nature and is currently being investigated by LaGrange Fire and Police investigators.
The second of the pair of fires occurred later on that same day about 7:22 p.m.
Firefighters were again called to a burning building, this time in the 200 block of Niles Street.
The LaGrange Fire Department arrived on the scene minutes later to find flames showing through a front window of the residential duplex.
Firefighters entered the duplex and encountered moderate smoke and heat conditions, and began an aggressively attack of the fire, which was brought under control at 8:08 p.m.
Firefighters also conducted search and rescue operations to locate persons that may be trapped inside, but only found a dog, which was safely removed from the burning structure.
Officials say the fire was contained to one side of the duplex, with only smoke damage observed in the other.
The damage was estimated at $33,000 including property and contents.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Lt. Chris Taylor of the LaGrange Fire Department advises they have been called out for more than 10 major fires since June of this year, which is far above average. This doesn’t include smaller fires with minor damage.
This is an alarming trend, especially since “fire season” hasn’t yet started. There are typically more house fires in the winter months due to the holidays and home heating issues.
Taylor also notes that these fires don’t seem to be part of a specific trend. Other than a couple of suspicious fires, the fires have had a wide variety of causes from cooking fires to smoking near oxygen equipment.
Seemingly more appropriate than ever, the National Fire Prevention Week has also kicked off this week through October 14.
Firefighters will be giving presentations in local schools for this year’s campaign of ‘Every Second Counts, Plan 2 Ways Out!’ teaching kids to learn a fire escape plan.