Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 11, 2013

Westwood home burns twice in one day

Cause of second fire under investigation

Carrie Stambaugh
The Independent

WESTWOOD — One of two fires at a Westwood home on Sunday is being investigated by the Kentucky State Fire Marshal’s office.

Westwood Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brent Webster said the department fought two separate fires at a home in the 2200 block of 2nd Street. The first fire was caused by a kerosene heater, while the second fire’s cause is under investigation.

The initial fire call came in at 11:56 a.m., with the home’s occupant reporting a kerosene heater had exploded on the first floor, said Webster.

Firefighters from Westwood responded while the Flatwoods and Summit Volunteer Fire Departments also lended aide to provide support and water.

Webster said firefighters were able to quickly knock out the fire, which started as the heater was being dragged outside.

 “We were able to save most of the stuff in the house. Damage was kept to a minimum,” he said. Some kitchen cabinets and living room furniture were lost but the home was largely undamaged, Webster said.

Firefighters cleared the scene just before 4 p.m. only to be called back for a second fire 18 minutes later, said Webster. The second fire started on the second floor of the home. Its cause is under investigation because there was no damage to the second floor of the home prior to the start of the second fire, he said.  

A rafter on the second floor was damaged in the first fire but firefighters had pulled out a wall to make sure there was no fire there, he said. The second fire did cause some damage to that floor.

Webster praised the cooperation of the three departments, saying it worked seamlessly.

“We are all training together now, and we’re all working together. We all operate under the same command system without  any arguments and disagreements. It’s like you have one department instead of three all operating differently,” he said.

Flatwoods, he said, provided the Rapid Intervention Team, a federally mandated crew of three firefighters who must be immediately ready to enter the fire should a firefighter go down inside the structure.

Summit firefighters helped to shuttle water to the fire scene. Brent explained the narrow two- and three-inch lines in Westwood do not support the few hydrants there are and most water must be brought into the scene.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.