Fire enters duplex’s crawl space

From Local Sources

JASPER — Quick thinking by an occupant helped limit fire damage Tuesday at a duplex on Jasper’s east side.

The Jasper Volunteer Fire Department was called to the report of a fire at 478 N. Meridian Road at 4:46 p.m.

Fire Chief Kenny Hochgesang said two occupants were home and smelled smoke coming from a bedroom area. They originally thought there was a dryer vent issue but it was later determined there was fire in the crawl space, with smoke coming from a register.

Before exiting, Hochgesang said, one of the occupants thought to close the bedroom door, which limited smoke and fire damage.

The chief said the fire had started in trash bags outside the duplex.

“With the wind we had yesterday, it pushed those flames through an opening in the crawl space,” Hochgesang said.

Some smoke and fire then came up through the register, burning a window wall area above the floor register.

Hochgesang said the occupant immediately closed that door and it kept all of the damage contained to that one room.

“It was a really good move to keep that fire from spreading anywhere else,” the chief said.

Damage was estimated at about $8,000.

It was undetermined how the fire originally started in the trash bags, but Hochgesang said the occupants were able to remain in the unit.

Two trucks and 21 firefighters were on the scene 45 minutes.

Earlier in the afternoon, at 1:03 p.m., the department was called to an alarm activation at Jasper City Hall, 610 Main St.

There was no fire associated with that incident, according to Hochgesang. Instead, he added, firefighters traced the problem to a ceiling duct detector that was experiencing moisture issues.

The scene was turned over to maintenance staff to correct the issue and reset the system.

Three trucks and 24 firefighters were on the scene 20 minutes.

The Jasper Police Department assisted.

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