North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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January 27, 2010

No injuries reported in local house fires

NORTH JEFFERSON COUNTY — Two fires damaged houses in Fultondale and Gardendale last week, but no injuries were reported.

On Thursday, Fultondale firefighters responded to a house fire in the 1500 block of Elkwood Drive in the Timber Trails subdivision.

Fultondale Fire Marshal Scott Fassina said the fire started shortly before 3 p.m. and was reported by a neighbor.

Fassina said the homeowner was home at the time, but unaware the house was on fire because the blaze started in the basement.

“He was in another part of the house and the smoke hadn’t reached him yet,” he said said. “He heard the crackling of the fire and thought it was kids playing outside.”

Fassina and Fultondale Fire Chief Larry Holcomb were the first to respond. However, by the time crews arrived, the house was “well involved,” Fassina said.

Firefighters reportedly had the blaze contained within 30 to 45 minutes, though the house is a total loss. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

On Friday, Gardendale firefighters responded to a house fire in the 2200 block of Spring Street at 7:30 a.m.

Gardendale Fire Marshal Rick Smith said the house was unoccupied at the time of the fire because the homeowner had already left for work.

“One room was completely damaged, but there’s some smoke and heat damage [in other parts of the house],” Smith said. “She [the homeowner] hadn’t been gone too long. Luckily, a neighbor saw the fire and reported it.”

Smith said the fire is under investigation, but may have started in a bedroom. However, he said windows in the bedroom helped the fire stay contained.

“Instead of traveling through the rest of the house, it traveled through those windows,” he said. “The fire had its own escape route.”

Smith said the cause of the blaze should be determined by week’s end.

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