City Firefighters Battle Early Morning Fire

City firefighters spent about an hour and a half at a North Center Street home early this morning trying to find – and then put out – a fire that was filling up the building with smoke.

Lt. Greg Lewis tells WESB that even thermal imaging cameras couldn’t find the heat source because it wasn’t enough to show up.

It was, however, big enough to fill up the first and second floors with smoke which “started to push out the peak of the structure,” Lewis said. Firefighters opened several walls in the house to try to find the fire, but couldn’t.

Lewis said it was frustrating because the house was filling up with smoke, and they could smell burning wood, but they couldn’t find the source. But when smoke started pouring out the back of the house, they used a chainsaw to cut an opening a found that some faulty wires had caught some wood on fire. They used a water can to put out the fire, and a pressure fan to blow out the smoke.

Lewis says the fire damage was very minimal, but they told the homeowner and the residents an electrician has to service the building before anyone can live in it again. Lewis added that, had the fire started while the residents were asleep, it “could have gotten out of control.”

The house is owned by Paul Schoolmaster. The residents are Crystal, Jesse, Dakota and Kassandra Soble and John Vanyo.

Engine 1 and Squad 1 were on the scene from just before 1 a.m. until about 2:30 a.m.

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