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'Pretty small fire' causes $30,000 damage to family home

By IVY KELLER • Feb 20, 2017 at 10:13 PM

A house fire on Ohio 61 turned out to be relatively small, said firefighters afterwards.

“It actually was a pretty small fire,” explained Norwalk Captain Dan Hunt. “It was a fire that started on the outside of the structure. Some leaves had burnt up on the outside of the house.”

The blaze was originally thought to be a chimney fire which started by the wall next to the chimney. Hunt reported it was unintentional, spreading after the home owner attempted to do some landscaping near the house.

The Norwalk Fire Department responded to the fire at 12:24 p.m. with 10 firefighters including Chief John Soisson. Because the home was an older “balloon frame” house, they were concerned the fire would spread “straight up the wall,” Hunt said. Balloon frame homes are more susceptible to fire spreading through walls and wiring due to their construction.

To deal with this, firefighters tore out the walls to check for extension, or places the fire might try to spread. Some of the home’s siding also had to be removed.

“Basically, we had an attack crew on the first floor and the second floor,” Hunt said. “We ended up tearing out the inside of the first and second stories.”

In the end, firefighters were able to stop the blaze without it reaching the second floor. Hunt said there was fire damage to the first floor on the wall where the fire started. The rest of the home had smoke damage, but was relatively untouched by fire. Firefighters finished up at approximately 1:30 p.m.

The downstairs and upstairs will now need repaired. While the fire was being extinguished, firefighters also took out a window affected by the flames.

“We did basically put a pretty good-sized hole in the wall,” Hunt said. “We actually worked on the fire from the outside and the inside.”

Hunt said he does not know if the family will attempt to keep staying in the home, as they did not contact the Red Cross that afternoon.

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