CES called to three house fires in one night
Firefighters responded to three separate home fires in one night last week, including two in the span of 10 minutes, according to Central Emergency Services Fire Chief Roy Browning.
Browning said his department was called to all three fires between 10:30 p.m. last Wednesday and 6:33 the next morning. He said there was just one injury, after a firefighter slipped and hurt his shoulder. No residents were reportedly hurt.
He said it’s unusual for so many fires to happen at once.
“We usually average around one or two fires every other week, for house fires,” he said.
The first fire, called in at 10:30 p.m. last Wednesday, was off Feuding Lane in Sterling and resulted in total loss of the house. Browning said it was well-engulfed in flames by the time crews got there. Browning said after investigation, it appears to have been an electrical fire.
He said the firefighter who was injured fell during overhaul — looking for any hidden fires in the walls or any fire extensions, to make sure it was fully extinguished. He said the firefighter was transferred to the hospital for precautions and later released.
The second — called in just nine minutes later — was off Poppy Ridge Road and Scholastic Ave. When crews responded, Browning said it was a garage fire, ignited by charging batteries
“That started, we believe, from some lithium batteries that were being charged on the workbench,” Browning said.
Browning said the homeowner smelled smoke and found a fire on the workbench, which was spreading to the cabinets, above. The homeowner confined the fire with a portable extinguisher, and when there was nothing left to spray, he brought in snow using a shovel to help contain the fire.
Browning said 27 total agents responded to the two fires which were, called in just nine minutes apart. Browning said the City of Kenai Fire Department also helped with the second fire.
The same CES crew responded to the third fire, at 6:30 a.m. the next morning — which was a chimney fire off South Cohoe Loop in Kasilof. Browning said Kasilof crews were able to quickly put that fire out and contain it.
He said the second fire in the garage, in particular, shows how important it is to have working equipment, like smoke detectors.
“The other takeaway would be having operating portable fire extinguishers up to par, as far as having the right size,” Browning said. “And they can find that information out by contacting us here at CES — 262-4792. And we’d be happy to help.”
Browning said it’s also important to have chimneys cleaned regularly. He said CES just responded to another chimney fire today.
Separately, he said small- and large-scale burn permits are now required by the Division of Forestry, as of April 1.