Weekend blaze guts home

By: Laura Newell, Telegraph Staff Writer
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Two firefighters were injured while fighting a house fire in Folsom on Sunday. Dennis Wycoff, Folsom Fire Department division chief, said the house fire was reported at 12:01 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14, in the 100 block of Hazelmere Drive in Folsom. The first unit arrived within four minutes, Wycoff said. He said the small delay was from a medical call that came in one minute prior to the fire call. “This is an example of call stacking,” he said. “We break up our city into zones as to which station will respond, so if call stacking happens, another unit will have to arrive first. This is important because it delays response time by minutes, and is a concern for departments.” Wycoff said the cause of the fire has not been determined and is still under investigation. “It started in the back of the house near the deck and master bedroom,” he said. “We are not sure if it started in the outside or the inside of the house. It is still under investigation.” Wycoff said during the fire fighting operation, one firefighter received minor burns to his right arm, but he is doing OK. “This particular roof had metal gusset plates used to hold roof joints together, under fire conditions they can melt,” Wycoff said. “In this situation, they melted through his safety gear.” Another firefighter was treated on scene for heat exhaustion. “It was due to heat exertion and hard work,” he said. “It was hot outside and it is hot inside the building, so it’s one of those things that sometimes firefighters get too hot and need more time to cool off.” Wycoff said they are putting property damage loss at $200,000 for the $450,000 home. “The attic burned off and we lost two back bedrooms,” he said. “It’s likely they will have smoke and water damage to the rest of building.” Pets were a main concern for the family, with firefighters saving close to 10 pet reptiles. “There were four terrariums filled with reptiles in the house that needed to be rescued. The family told us about them during the firefighting operation,” Wycoff said. “Pets are loved ones as well. When we are in the middle of a fire, our priorities are human life and pets as well.” Wycoff said many times firefighters will safely go the extra mile to save as many sentimental items for families as possible during a firefighting operation. “Fires are very devastating, and if we can minimize that by saving a pet, then we will do so when it’s safe,” Wycoff said. As a reminder, Wycoff said it is always a good idea to ensure every home is fire safe. “We are approaching fire prevention month in October, so it’s a good time to remember to change your smoke detector batteries when you change your clock time,” Wycoff said. He also said families should have working carbon monoxide detectors in their home.