Upper Pine River Fire Protection District crew members managed to save a home and a kitten Thursday after the home caught fire in the Forest Lakes subdivision. A mother, her daughter and three other pets were able to escape before rescue crews arrived.
Fire crews were dispatched at 11:45 a.m. to 984 Blue Ridge Drive at the top of Forest Lakes, where a reported chimney fire was in progress. Crews made an aggressive interior attack and managed to knock down the fire from inside the home, said Fire Chief Bruce Evans.
While inside, firefighters also managed to rescue a kitten that had been hiding in a closet.
The home sustained heavy smoke and moderate fire damage. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire remained under investigation, though Evans said he believes he knows the cause, as the blaze started around the fireplace and chimney area.
“A lot of the time, fireplaces are dirty or people are burning the wrong things in them,” he said. “Sometimes they burn wood in a natural gas fireplace but it’s not designed for that kind of heat.”
Evans warns that the problem could become worse moving into the winter months.
“We’re somewhat concerned with fuel prices the way they are; we’re going to have a lot more people trying to save money on propane and burning wood in fireplaces not designed for that,” he said.
The local chapter of the American Red Cross was assisting the displaced family.