A dog in St. Clair township alerted its owner about a house fire at a neighboring property to its owner early morning Wednesday.
The neighbor stated to St. Clair Fire Chief Dave McCoy that the dog woke her at 4 a.m., barking and running towards the window.
When she reached the window that was driving the dog crazy, she witnessed the fire and called the St. Clair Volunteer Fire Department. The Fire Department was toned out at 4:06 a.m. to the house fire.
The causality’s reason was undetermined. McCoy said there was a lot of damage to get in and find a cause.
The firefighters were not able to determine the reason due to the damage and the cause remains undetermined.
McCoy said nobody was standing outside and no cars were there, but neighbors weren’t sure if anybody was in the house.
“We really didn’t confirm that no one was there until after we got the fire under control and one of our entry crews was able to push the fire back into the burnt area and they were able to search the two back rooms which would have been the bedroom areas,” McCoy stated. “They did not find anyone, which was good, and we were able to continue on and extinguish the fire.”
He also added, “it was probably a good 20 minutes to a half-hour afterward that they learned renters had been packing and in the process of moving out”. They were almost sure that everyone had left because there were no cars; but that was never given, so they searched again after the fire was controlled and found no one.
The house, which was described as a half-house-half trailer by McCoy due to additions or renovations, is being considered a total loss. The dwelling was a trailer that had been closed in and with a basement added to it.
It took about half an hour to get the firefighters to control the fire and extinguish it.
McCoy stated the dwelling, which was a trailer made to look like a house, and the fire was a firefighter’s nightmare due to hidden construction and trapped spots that became hot spots.
“We can’t just go in and just put it out because the fire gets down between the trailer walls and the other structure walls they closed,” he stated.
“There was a roof placed over the top of the metal trailer roof and then integrated onto the new structure in the back”, McCoy said. “A part of the roof still on fire came down onto the metal roof for the trailer. Looking up from inside it was metal and there was no way to spray the roof on top to put it out, he said. The integrity of the structure would not have held someone getting on top to spray”.
The department ended up calling back to the scene later on when the fire rekindled under a space they couldn’t find because of the way the construction was done.
McCoy also stated there were some freezing problems with the hydrant and the road, that they closed, was narrow and tough to get trucks on.