Fire Destroys Tallahassee Home, Owner Escapes Unharmed

By: Andy Alcock Email
By: Andy Alcock Email

By: Andy Alcock
November 25, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Fire destroyed a home in northwest Tallahassee early Monday morning.

Four adults managed to escape unharmed.

"It was serious, it was very scary stand there and just watch at the flames engulfed the house," said neighbor Laurie Sapp. "It was pretty devastating," she said.

When fire crews arrived, they at first entered the structure to search for victims.

But they were forced to leave when parts of the roof became weak.

Fortunately, the woman who lived there and three other adults escaped unharmed.

"The truck ran out of water pretty quick and they had to go get more water and the fire just kept blazing away, so they needed more water and they needed it quick," said Sapp.

Lieutenant Mike Bellamy of the Tallahassee Fire Department tells us there are no fire hydrants in the Edinburgh neighborhood where the fire took place.
It's part of Leon County.

He says an additional tanker was sent from downtown Tallahassee to help shuttle water from a city hydrant at Danesborough Place and Old Bainbridge Road nearly a mile from the burning house.

Bellamy says it wasn't a factor in getting the fire put out.

He says the biggest issue is the fire was burning in the attic for a good 20 to 30 minutes before firefighters were called.

Still, Sapp is concerned.

"We might need some hydrants ya," she said. "We need to buy a lot of fire extinguishers for our own house just to be safe because it's a little scary," said Said.

The cause of the fire hasn't been determined.

Property damage is estimated at $200,000.

News Release: The Tallahassee Fire Department

Tallahassee, FL, November 25, 2013 -- At around midnight, the Tallahassee Fire Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting a house on fire located in the 4100 Block of Kensington Road. The caller stated that she was awakened by the sounds of crackling and loud noises and helped the three other adult occupants out of the home safely.

The first fire crews on scene from Fire Station 10 reported heavy fire through the roof of the approximately 2,000 square foot single-story home. Fire crews initially entered the structure to search for victims and attack the fire but were forced to exit the home after parts of the roof were becoming weak, due to the amount of fire in the attic.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze from the outside using an elevated water stream. No injuries were reported at the scene and damages from the fire were estimated at $200,000, resulting in a total loss to the home as well as a vehicle in the garage.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Florida State Fire Marshal’s office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with assistance from the Tallahassee Fire Department. Officials with the State Fire Marshal’s office say they believe the fire started on the back porch of the home and spread into the attic.

They also say that the fire is not believed to be suspicious, although they will continue to investigate for a cause this morning. The Leon County Sheriff’s office and Leon County EMS also assisted TFD at the scene.

The second house fire was called in at 2:22 a.m. and was located in the 2900 Block of Shamrock North.

Residents were burning a fire in the fireplace and smelled an unusual amount of smoke. Firefighters quickly identified that the fire escaped the fire box and began burning in the walls. Firefighters were able to access the fire through the exterior of the chimney and extinguish a small fire.

Damages from the fire were confined to the area around the fireplace and chimney and were estimated at $15,000. The residents were able to remain in the home after the fire. No injuries were reported at the scene of the fire.

The Tallahassee Fire Department wants you to follow these important safety tips when using your heating equipment this winter season:

  • Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.

  • Leave glass doors open while burning a fire. Leaving the doors open ensures that the fire receives enough air to ensure complete combustion and keeps creosote from building up in the chimney.

  • Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.

  • Use only seasoned hardwood. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup. In pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets.

  • Allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from your home and any other nearby buildings. Never empty the ash directly into a trash can. Douse and saturate the ashes with water.

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