UPDATE – The residents of this rental home have created a GoFundMe account to attempt to recover from the fire. You can contribute to that effort, here.
FREMONT – A fire broke out in a Fremont neighborhood yesterday, prompting a call to the Fremont Fire Department who fought the lengthy blaze.
Thursday morning before noon, a garage fire was reported in the 1900 block of Pearl street. When fire crews arrived, smoke was pouring from the windows of the home and a fire was evident in the garage. “There was smoke pushing throughout house,” said Fire Captain Jamie Meyer. “Not heavy, heavy smoke, but there was definitely an [active] fire inside.”
The Fire Department sent firefighters into the home through the garage, which lead them down into the basement. The heaviest, black smoke was located in this area, according to Meyer, but not much else. “They really didn’t find anything, so they came back out and we went upstairs – to the first floor through the main door.”
Crews continued to try to locate the source of the fire, but were unable to find a heat source on the first floor. Crews worked their way up through multiple floors of the home to locate the origin of the fire. After a lengthy search, firefighters located a bathroom on the topmost floor of the home. The bathroom was equipped with a laundry chute that traversed the height of the home, all the way down into a sub-basement. “That was the room that had the fire,” said Meyer, “It was going up the laundry chute into the bathroom on the top floor. That’s why they had a hard time finding it.”
The very same circumstances that made it difficult to locate the source of the fire also kept the fire contained. The fire ate its way up the laundry chute and eventually intersected with water pipes that fed the same bathroom, melting the pipes’ soldering and unleashing water on the fire, damping it down until crews could completely extinguish it. “Almost like a sprinkler head,” said Meyer. This kept damage centralized, and as a result, the exterior of the home doesn’t show much damage.
One of the home’s occupants was on the premises during the fire, but he was outside when smoke became evident and did not need rescue. Sadly, at least two family pets died in the fire due to smoke inhalation. The Fire Marshall is investigating the cause of the fire, but arson is not suspected.
An earlier version of this article stated that the “homeowner” set up a GoFundMe account to help recover from the fire. This was inaccurate – the home is a rental, and it is the renters who set up the crowdfunding account for their own recovery. The homeowner/landlord is not affiliated with the GoFundMe account.