Archive for Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Fire destroys Baldwin home

April 2, 2003

It took firefighters more than two hours to extinguish a fire that destroyed a Baldwin house over the weekend.

A fire broke out in a house belonging to George Frank at 309 Blaze Way in FireTree Estates around 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Frank, his wife and daughter escaped the fire and no injuries were reported, but Baldwin Fire Chief Allen Craig said the house is a total loss.

Craig said when firefighters arrived on the scene, heavy smoke was coming out of the 2 1/2-year-old house. He said the owner indicated the fire was in the basement, but it quickly spread up the walls of the house to the second floor.

"It was probably one of the hardest fires we ever tried to put out because of that," he said. "It was a bad one."

Craig said the owner tried to extinguish the fire on his own with fire extinguishers and a garden hose before calling the fire department.

"That probably helped the fire spread," he said.

Seven fire trucks and 36 firefighters from the Baldwin, Palmyra and Willow Springs fire departments as well as a medical unit from Lawrence Fire and Medical responded to the fire.

The fire was extinguished after 2 1/2 hours.

"It was just a very stubborn fire," Craig said.

The fire caused the first floor to fall into the basement, the roof to partially collapse and caused extensive damage to the walls, he said.

"There's heavy smoke, water and fire damage," he said.

He estimates about a total of $250,000 in damage was caused by the fire.

The State Fire Marshal is currently investigating the cause of the fire, but Craig said it appeared it was electrical and began in a storeroom in the basement of the house.

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