A house fire in the county on Friday night has resulted in a total loss of property — but thankfully no loss of life.
The home, owned by Sheri Roberts and Debbie Frazier, is located just off Fairview Road on Burrough Road.
Jeff Darling, chief of the East Enterprise Volunteer Fire Department, said that his department received its call at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Friday night.
“When we got the call, they said it was a fully involved house fire, and when we got on scene, it was fully involved,” Darling said. “Everybody was out of the house, thankfully. They were able to get all of the pets out, also — but they didn’t get much more than that out.”
Darling said that the post fire investigation showed that the cause of the blaze was a flue-fire.
“They did have a wood burning stove, and the flue caught fire,” he said. “We had Bear Branch, Jeff-Craig, and Switzerland County Emergency Response on scene to help us.
Darling also said that the rural setting of the home also presented some challenges for those battling the fire.
“Unfortunately, down in that area, there’s no city water,” the chief said. “So we had to haul water from Plum Creek, and then we were also pumping water out of their pool; and we were also pumping water out of the creek — so we had three different water sources that we were using to get enough water.”
Darling said that the home had a room addition added to it recently, which resulted in more roof lines and ceilings and walls and other structures that makes a fire more difficult to put out.
“We remained on scene until about 6:30 Saturday morning,” Darling said. “We had Red Cross come in and assist the family the next day. The two owners were out of town, but their children were at the house at the time of the fire.”
Darling said that the people who were home went to get a fire extinguisher to try and put it out once the fire was discovered — but once they got it and returned, the blaze was too big and the only option was to escape the situation.
The chief also said that there was no need for another investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
“We did the initial inspection, and then they — of course like most insurance companies — will call in a private inspector,” Darling said. “I actually talked to him on Sunday morning, and he came to the same conclusion. With no one being hurt or injured, and with them and us coming to the same conclusion, there’s really no reason to bring those guys down from the state — they’re busy enough as it is.”
The family stayed at the Bovard Lodge after the fire; and is making long term plans for housing while their home is being rebuilt.
Darling said that the community has really stepped up to help everyone involved, and that he was told that most of the clothing need had been met, and that there isn’t a lot of room to store larger donated items at this time.
Those wanting to help can donate money or gift cards to help the family; and also this Saturday, December 19th, Holy Smokin’ Pork & More will be set up in the parking lot of Vevay Vintage Prop & Shop on Main Street in Vevay from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Food truck owner Jeremy Robinson said that all proceeds that day will go to the Roberts and Frazier families.
Darling said that with so many homes having wood burning stoves and fireplaces, it’s especially important at this time of the year for homeowners to have their flues inspected.
“It’s very important to have your flue cleaned and inspected,” he said. “It probably should be inspected and cleaned monthly during the height of the heating season.”
Darling said that those wanting to have their chimney’s inspected can do their own, or can search the Internet for chimney sweeps in this area.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is to get chimneys cleaned and inspected,” Darling said.