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Attic Electrical Fire

January 16, 2012

Station Chief Jerry Sanders

Emilia Garcia was lying in bed at just about midnight when, for some reason, she looked over at the alarm clock on her night stand. Puzzling thing was the light on the clock was off. So, Emilia got out of bed to check things out. And, it was a good thing she did.

Emilia went into the kitchen, turned the light on, and plugged the clock into an electrical outlet. It worked. It was about that time she heard a crackling and popping noise. And then a slight smell of smoke.

Emilia knew it was time to call for help. Cassie, the 911 dispatcher, told Emilia to “Get out of the house!”

Stafford County Firefighters arrived quickly to find smoke and flames coming from under the front porch roof. They quickly attacked the fire, after first ripping off the underside porch roof boards.

Unfortunately, the fire had extended beyond the porch. The fire was electrical in nature and had traveled the electrical wire pathway across the ceiling into the living room. It also traveled down the wire inside the wall.

Assistant Chief Shawn Meschberger

Firefighters quickly recognized the situation and pulled parts of the ceiling down. The ceiling joists were brunt completely in two in some spots – a clear indicator that the fire had been burning a while. A ventilation fan was set up in the doorway as the firefighters aggressively extinguished the smoldering areas in the attic.

A fire in any attic is extremely difficult to extinguish, especially when it has much of a head start. The job done by Stafford County’s firefighters was absolutely incredible. The great job was even more important to Emilia, because she had no homeowner’s insurance.

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