I had just driven by Station 1 and saw the TSO parked on the ramp and Engine 1 sitting in quarters. As I sat in the line at the Rite Aid, I heard the TSO and Engine 1 head out on a call. They had to have gone north, south or east, since they did not pass behind me. As I left the drug store, I looked east and saw black smoke in the sky, in a place where it should not have been, a chief indicator that they were headed to a working fire. For those who are thinking “bushy tail,” no, I did not turn to the east, but finished what I set out to do. However, I did need to turn onto Osborne Road later, only to be directed east on Rt. 10, since a charged “5” supply line was running down the middle of Osborne Road. I will admit that my rubber neck almost went 180, when I saw Truck 14 in the middle of Osborne Road indicating the exact location of the fire, since the truck is supposed to get preferential parking at any structure fire.
A BC reported that the fire had occurred in a vacant house on Osborne Road, just after noon. First arriving units found fire showing from the front of the house and had it under control in about twenty minutes. I can hear the first-in engine officer stating that they were laying in from Osborne and Route 10, and may have even reported a working incident, prior to arrival. As the first and second engine probably arrived pretty close to one another, the first officer would give his/her progress report, stating 1-3/4” interior attack, RIC in place and the truck company would be given the assignment of interior support. All of this may mean nothing to you, but it sure did feel good to just say it.
Investigators found that the fire started in a bedroom and the fire was deemed suspicious. A fire is determined suspicious when all accidental causes are ruled out. There are accidental causes that could cause a vacant house to catch fire, such as an electrical malfunction or something caused due to construction. However, in most vacant or abandoned structures that catch fire, the immediate thought is that the fire was set.
Since this fire started in a bedroom, let me address a bedroom fire, in an occupied dwelling. Bedroom fires can occur from many different causes, such as smoking in bed, candles or an electrical malfunction. Many sleep with their bedroom doors closed, so this is why the code changed concerning smoke alarms, requiring that smoke alarms need to be outside of the bedroom and another inside of the bedroom. If your house falls under an older code, due to when it was built, then you will need to add the appropriate number of smoke alarms yourself. A fire that starts in a bedroom, with the door closed, can get a head start on its progress, before the fire is detected. Also, keep in mind, if your smoke alarms are not connected in series, then only one detector will go off, as smoke reaches it.
I am quite certain that investigators will get to the bottom of this incident. This fire is just another example of the great job that firefighters do each and every day that they come to work. Lunch was definitely disrupted or delayed, but that is the life of a firefighter. Public servants work tirelessly to provide a service that many of us take for granted, until we dial 9-1-1. Thank you men and women of the fire service for everything that you do.