The fire chief in Conway says it’s important to have working smoke detectors – and take proper precautions to prevent a fire – after his firefighters responded to two house fires Saturday night.
Steve Solomon says a first alarm was declared shortly after 5 p.m. and his department and North Conway firefighters responded to a report of a house burning at 120 Crescent Dr. in Conway. Firefighters from Center Conway, Redstone and Madison also eventually joined.
Solomon says on arrival at the one and a half story wood frame house, firefighters found heavy fire in the basement and they were able to get into it and quickly knock it down.
The chief says it then took a considerable amount of time to overhaul the fire, because of the amount of cardboard boxes and other items stored in the basement. He believes the fire started because combustible material like cardboard was stored too close to the wood stove and a burning ember might have come in contact with the cardboard.
Solomon says you should keep combustible materials like that at least three feet from a heat source like a wood stove or portable heater.
A man who was staying at the house noticed the lights had blinked and he tried to get down into the burning basement but it was too hot and he got a little singed before escaping the house – he was otherwise not hurt.
Solomon says there is some structural damage to the house but it’s not a total loss. About two dozen firefighters were at the scene. No one was hurt.
The last unit cleared the scene about 8:15 p.m. Saturday.
Later that night, Conway firefighters responded to – and put out – another house fire at Pine Hill Cabins, where working smoke detectors awakened a sleeping resident, who was able to escape without injury.
Solomon says it’s an example where the working detectors do save lives.