A quick response by local firefighters may have saved an Evergreen home from complete destruction.
At 11:25 a.m. April 2, a White House Trail resident dialed 911 to report a fire in his basement. Within four minutes of the call, Lt. Mason Duncan of Evergreen Fire/Rescue arrived on the scene and, pulling on protective gear, grabbed a fire extinguisher and headed inside. Finding the flames still confined to the basement, Mason temporarily suppressed the blaze until reinforcements arrived to finish the job.
While fire and smoke damage to the home is estimated at less than $2,000, it could have been far worse. According to EFR Deputy Chief Wayne Shephard, the basement was full of personal belongings, which would have provided abundant fuel had the fire reached them, and could have hampered firefighters’ efforts to combat a larger blaze.
Fire investigator Jeff Ashford determined that the fire was electrical in nature, and cited old heat tape — commonly used to keep water pipes from freezing — as the probable ignition source.
“Heat tape should be inspected annually,” Ashford says, and he urges homeowners to closely follow manufacturers’ guidelines regarding heat tape use and replacement schedules.