BLOOMINGTON – On Friday, March 10th, just before 10 p.m., Monroe Fire Protection District responded to the 9700 block of South Snow Road after a report of a chimney fire.
While units were still responding to the scene a water tender from Center-Jackson Fire Territory in Greene County was requested to assist with water supply due to the very rural location of the fire.
Engine 23 and Engine 39 arrived on the scene fire was coming from the corner of the house and quickly spreading.
Firefighters stretched a hose line to the corner of the house slowing the spread of fire on the outside while additional firefighters deployed hoses into the house to attack the fire.
The fire had spread up the corner of the house and into the attic space. Crews pulled drywall down from the ceiling throughout the house to expose hidden fire spots in the attic. This was made difficult due to the high cathedral-style ceilings in the home. Eventually, firefighters were able to stop the fire spread and contain it in the attic space.
After the fire was contained crews began conducting salvage and overhaul operations. During this operation, firefighters kept getting high-temperature readings and finding small fires in the cellulose insulation in the attic. Cellulose insulation is known to trap heat and eventually start secondary fires, possibly hours later causing even more damage.
Firefighters decided to remove the remaining drywall and cellulose insulation in the attic to prevent additional fires, which created a large mess inside the home.
Crews remained on the scene for several hours shoveling out the insulation debris throughout the home and attempting to locate items of importance for the homeowners.
The American Red Cross was contacted to assist the homeowners with shelter and other items they might need.
The homeowners were home when the fire started. They told firefighters they had started a fire in the fireplace earlier in the day and then began smelling something burning later that evening. When they went to investigate the burning smell, they noticed a smoky haze upstairs and then saw fire coming out the side of the house. They called 911 and safely exited the home before firefighters arrived on the scene.
The cause of the fire was ruled accidental and no injuries were reported.
Engines 23, 39, 21, 29, 22, Battalions 22 and 29, Chief 23, and Center-Jackson Fire Territory Tender 2 responded to the fire. Additional assistance was provided by IU LifeLine ambulance, REMC, and the Red Cross.