Fire destroys Clinton home

"Photo: Firefighters work inside and outside this Elsica Drive home to suppress a Friday afternoon blaze and to save what contents they could.Matt Johnson / staff photoA Clinton area home burned to a possible total loss Friday afternoon when a fire spread through its attic and frustrated firefighters' efforts to save the structure.At about 1:30 p.m., Fire District 3 firefighters responded to a blaze at 4659 Elsica Drive, an address in a neighborhood off Bob Galbreath Road. Fire Chief Don Smith was one of the first responders at the scene. He said he came across a sight he did not want to see. While the home was still intact when he arrived, he noticed flames licking out from under the roof all around the newer, two-story house. Even though fire trucks were at the scene pumping water within minutes of the initial 911 call, the fire had spread throughout the home's attic and 15-foot flames were shooting out through holes in the shingles.Volunteer firefighters contained the blaze initially by spraying the home's roof with an aerial water cannon mounted aboard one of the district's engines. At the same time, firefighters mounted an interior attack, pumping water through the house's ceiling. Darrin Reid, district Captain of Special Services, who went in with an early team, said the living spaces of the house were practically untouched when he first walked in. But he and his fellow firefighters knew where the fire was.The paint on the ceiling was live bubbling, Reid said.Hardest hit was the house's garage. It burned from the bases of the walls to the tip of the roof, frying a car that was inside at the time. Portions of the roof collapsed onto the car, while flames burned a Jeep Cherokee sitting in outside in the driveway.Firefighters from stations all over the district responded to the fire. The district's new high school corps sprayed down the house's exterior and helped remove possessions from the home while older firefighters donned breathing apparatus in to fight the fire from the inside. While the fire was still in progress, Chief Smith said the firefighters may well have saved some of the home's walls, but not much more. The home's owner, Jack Hall, was at home at the time of the blaze. Smith said Hall heard an explosion from the garage and found it aflame just before he called 911. He tried to fight the fire with a garden hose, but to no avail. Smith had not determined the fire's cause by press time."

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