GALLIPOLIS — Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Department and Gallipolis Volunteer Fire Department responded to a structure fire Tuesday on Yellowtown Road and returned when it rekindled a few hours later.
According to Gallipolis Assistant Fire Chief Mike Null, reports indicate parts of the home were built in 1880. Reports said there may have been a possible entrapment in the home, but it turned out the residents of the property were away from the home at the time of the fire. An owner of the home is listed as Jim Duke.
The first was first reported at 8 p.m. Tuesday and reportedly rekindled at about 3 a.m. Wednesday.
Null said trucks used an unusually large amount of water in the blazes. The first time firefighters arrived they used 17,000 gallons to douse flame and 3,000 on the rekindling.
“Even though they put a huge amount of water on it, part of the reason it rekindled was due to the fact that part of the floor was atop an old cellar,” Null said. “It didn’t make much to see that it was not safe to be on that part of the floor for fear of falling through. Having said that, the guys did the best they could.”
Null noted that on the second run, they still faced the same challenge with the floor above the cellar.
“There were several hot spots,” Null said. “One was in an old chimney that was partially torn down.”
Null explained that bricks will often retain heat from a fire and can potentially kick up another blaze.
“Being an older structure, it had a tin roof,” Null said. “Well, when that tin falls down, it’s covering everything on the floor and covering the floor. It’s keeping the water from getting underneath it. There’s debris that’s gotten hot that you cannot get the water to it, so you have to wait for things to die down before being able to access that tin, pull it off to get it out of the way and get water in hot spots.”
To Null’s knowledge, there were no injuries during the incidents. He said a vehicle had been damaged at the property as a result of the fire.
Null said he had no idea if the residence had any historical value, but that it was a shame a home built in the 19th century had caught fire, on top of being a family home. He also said it was fortunate that no one had been caught inside when the fire started.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.