Fire destroys garage, damages home

Posted: Sunday, February 01, 2004

A garage was destroyed and a house badly damaged by fire at about 6 p.m. Friday.

The home, at 37140 Even Lane off Kalifornsky Beach Road, is owned by Christopher Hodo and Crystal Jones. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

Five family members were in the house when the fire broke out, according to Gary Hale, fire marshal with Central Emergency Services.

A 5-year-old boy reportedly alerted the family after seeing smoke coming from the top of a garage door, which separated the house from the garage.

The family called 911 at 5:52 p.m. By the time the last family member left the house, flames broke through the door and were spreading in the house. When the first CES engine got to the scene, the firefighters reported the garage was fully engulfed by the fire with flames coming through the roof.

According to CES, the flames spread from the garage to the upper truss of the home and caused damage over the kitchen, dining room and living room. Major smoke and heat damage were sustained throughout the rest of the house.

Hale estimated the fire caused $45,000 of property damage. The property's estimated value was $160,000.

Twelve personnel were credited with containing the fire within the truss area and keeping it from spreading further, saving most of the home. The fire was declared under control 29 minutes after the first engine arrived on scene, according to CES.

CES responded to the fire with an engine, three tankers, a ladder truck, a medic unit and a command unit. The Kenai Fire Department provided access to a water hydrant and assisted in loading tankers with water so they could quickly return to the scene.

One firefighter sustained minor cuts to the hands, but no one was seriously injured due to the blaze, according to CES.

The fire damage was extensive enough to destroy the electrical, water and heating systems of the home and cause the family to be displaced for an as-yet undetermined amount of time. The American Red Cross was contacted to set up temporary housing and assist with their needs.

Investigators sifted through debris and searched for the cause of the blaze throughout Friday evening and early Saturday morning. The cause of the fire still is under investigation, while investigators question the home's occupants about what was in the garage.

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