Newark and Rhome firefighters’ quick response saves home

By Erika Pedroza | Published Wednesday, December 25, 2013
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A quick response by Newark and Rhome firefighters salvaged a home Saturday morning.

The two departments were dispatched to reports of smoke and flames coming though the roof of a mobile home in the 100 block of County Road 4857 around 8 a.m.


TEAMWORK – Rhome Fire Chief Robert Pratt and another firefighter assist the Newark Fire Department at a house fire in the rain Saturday morning. A quick response by both departments salvaged the home. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Units checked on scene within four minutes and reported light smoke coming through the eaves and ridge row on the roof.

The fire, which started in the back wall of a room added to the mobile home, was contained to the wall and attic.

“There’s a brick fireplace attached to the add-on,” said Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis. “Over time, the foundation has settled, creating a gap between the chimney and the exterior wall … Birds are able to go in there and build a nest. That morning, the family lit a fire to heat the home, and an ember got through the chimney to the nest, and that’s what set off the fire.”

Newark Fire Chief James Edgemon said he didn’t believe there was any fire or smoke damage to items in the room. There may have been some water damage, and structural damage was minimal.

“We had to go in and pull the sheetrock and ceiling where the fire started,” Edgemon said. “But nothing burned in the room. We know where it started, but we’re not sure what started it.”

Red Cross was dispatched to assist the home’s occupants, which included a middle-aged couple and a younger couple and their baby.

On Monday morning, Travis said an electrician had made the appropriate repairs. Power was to be restored later in the day.

“They’ll have to go in and make some repairs, but they should be back in the home and living comfortably by the end of the day (Monday),” Travis said.

“The fire department did a really good job containing the fire to one room,” he added. “Their quick action – along with that of the homeowners, who got in the attic and fought the fire with fire extinguishers until firefighters arrived – will enable the family to spend the holidays at home.”

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