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House Gutted By Blaze, Cause Under Investigation
Updated May 5, 2013 1:07 AM | Filed under: WBIW News
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(BEDFORD) - A fire at 1208 Lincoln Avenue that started Wednesday night is out.

The apartment complex owned by Judy Cunnington is gutted and will probably need tore down, according to Bedford Fire Chief Jon Wagner.

"The home had an old flat roof and then a pitched roof was put over top of it," says Wagner. "That created a dead space for the fire to hide in. Firefighters are cutting off that roof and dousing any fire that was trapped between."

Fire Inspector David Wright says the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

"There are several areas I still need to look at," Wright says. "Our main concern is to make sure this fire is out and then I will be able to go in and take a look around."

Wright says the fire did break through the roof allowing the fire to vent itself.

"It's difficult when you have older homes and they have added on over the years," Wright says. "There were a lot of areas in this home where the fire got trapped between layers of construction. We'd open up one area and the fire would shoot out another."

Firefighters were able to contain the fire and stop it from damaging the neighboring residence.

"Pretty proud of the men," Wagnor says. "There is no major damage to the homes on either side. The one did have some smoke get inside the home and the other one at 1212 Lincoln may have some water in the basement. We will be checking into that and if they do we will see if the city can come out and pump it out."

Wagoner says the delayed 911 calls didn't help.

"A fire doubles in size every 30 seconds," he says. "We were here within minutes, but any delay is not good."

Sarah Michaels says she was doing laundry and had cloths in the dyer when her mother Kimberly Gray noticed a fire behind the drier.

"Mom yelled saying they drier was on fire," Michaels says. "I tried to grab the fire extinguisher but the curtains caught on fire so I grabbed the kids and ran out to warn the other residents."

Jaycey Lewis, who was staying in one of the apartments with her sister says she heard Michaels yelling there was a fire and to get out.

"She was running from apartment to apartment yelling there was a fire and to get out," Lewis says. "Everyone was grabbing their kids and got out. Everyone was out of the apartments when the firemen arrived."

Lewis, says there are four apartment in the building and three of them were rented to tenants.

"There are 11 people who live here," she says. "There was just a little fire and smoke when we all got out but within minutes flames were shooting out and smoke was everywhere. It went up fast, the whole back of the building was in flames."

Kimberly Gray says once everyone was out of the building people started calling 911 on their cell phones.

"I called five times and they kept telling me they had to transfer my call to Bedford or put me on hold. It was a 911 call and they put you on hold....," She says. "I didn't think I was every going to be able to get help. Sarah called at least three times to get help on her cell and the same thing happened. I don't know what was going on. I finally got a dispatcher that stayed on the line with me, instead of putting me on hold and I got help."

Nate Fields, whose father owns D& K Pool Supply and Marie Stanley who lives at 12th and L heard the screams before seeing the fire.

"We thought someone was hurting a child the screams were so loud," She says. "It sounded like someone was beating a child so we came out to see what was going on. Everyone was freaking out and people were screaming."

Fields says there was not much of a fire at first.

"You could only see a small flame at first, not much at all then all of a sudden it took off and there were flames engulfing the back of the building and smoke everywhere," Fields says.

The smoke was so thick it was like a thick fog at the rear of the building.

TOPS was on the scene to provide water and food for firefighters and the Red Cross was called to help those displaced by the blaze.

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