A resident of the 10 unit row house reported smelling smoke and dialed 9-1-1. Fire personnel arrived on scene at 2:50 AM and forced entry into the vacant home and discovered the fire. Emergency crews quickly evacuated the adjacent residents and rapidly searched the vacant structure while bringing the fire under control.
The fire damage was primarily contained to the first floor of the unit, with minimal fire extension to the second and third floor through wall voids, with heavy smoke damage throughout. Adjacent units suffered minimal smoke damage. “Due to a rapid response and quick actions of fire personnel the damage was contained to one unit of this historic structure.” said Deputy Chief John Tippett. One firefighter suffered a minor shoulder injury and was treated on scene.
Members of the Fire Marshal Division investigated the fire and determined the fire originated near the stove in the kitchen of the home. The electric stove was accidentally turned “on” the previous evening and ignited the combustible materials that were stored on the stove surface. A new tenant was in the process of moving into the home but was not at the residence at the time of the fire.
The Charleston Fire Department would like to remind citizens of the following:
· Never store combustible materials on a stove or cooking surface.
· Always maintain working smoke alarms in your home – this will improve safety of residents and it may also provide notification to neighbors or adjoining residents in your absence.
· Check smoke alarm batteries monthly by pressing the “test” button on your alarm.
· Change smoke alarm batteries at least once a year. We recommend changing the batteries in your smoke alarm when you change your clocks for daylight savings time.
· Install smoke alarms inside and outside of bedrooms or living spaces. There should be a smoke alarm for each floor of your home.