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Attic fire at four-plex poses a challenge

By Haley Smith | Posted - May 3rd, 2013 @ 7:48am


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MURRAY &#8212 A fire that left at least $100,000 damage at a Murray four-plex was extinguished in less than an hour, but was a serious hazard for fire crews.

The fire began around 10 p.m. near 250 East and 4800 South. The new homeowner was converting the former four-plex into a single family home, so no one was living there.

When crews arrived, they said flames and smoke were spouting from the attic. That's where they think the fire started. It took firefighters close to 40 minutes to extinguish it.

"We had it under control in about 35 minutes, but you've got to realize what we had is an attic fire, and attic fires are tough," said Russ Groves, deputy fire marshal for Murray city.

When fighting an attic fire crews have two options: go up through the ceiling of the home, risking the fire falling on top of them, or they can get on the roof and cut into the attic to douse the flames. If firefighters do that, they risk stepping through a weakened part of the roof and falling into the fire.


"For the amount of fire we had in there and in the attic area, our guys did a great job of knocking this fire down."

In this case, crews went inside but faced lath, plaster and then sheet rock to get to the flames.

"I just have to hand it to these guys. For the amount of fire we had in there and in the attic area, our guys did a great job of knocking this fire down," he said.

Investigators were on scene overnight looking for the cause, which has not yet been determined.

Fire crews said the roof of the home is destroyed. Damage is estimated at $100,000 to $150,000.

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