Sunday fire claims Heuck’s home

Published 8:46 pm Monday, February 15, 2010

A Valentine’s Day house fire destroyed a Coopertown Road homeearly Sunday morning, but there were no injuries as family memberswere out of town for the weekend.

Sheriff Steve Rushing said the fire at 1672 Coopertown Road atthe home of Charles and Jane Britt was reported around 3:31 a.m.Sunday.

Firefighters said when they arrived on the scene, the house wasfully involved, and the fire appeared to be coming primarily out ofthe front of the home. Units from Heuck’s Retreat and Hog ChainVolunteer Fire Departments worked to keep the flames off the butanetank, just feet from the trailer, in an effort to prevent anexplosion.

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“I was the second one on scene, and the power was locked off butit was on, and it was fully involved when I got there,” saidHeuck’s Retreat Chief Scott Etheridge. “We attacked it on the southend where the gas tank was, and set to extinguishing the fire.”

The positioning of the tank was potentially a precarioussituation for firefighters, officials said.

“Basically we just got to the butane tank, it was about 10 feetfrom the house,” said Hog Chain Fire Chief John Hart. “We justneeded to cool things down to keep that from causing problems.”

In addition, firefighters worked to keep the fire isolated tothe home, and to keep it off other buildings close by.

“We had to protect the adjoining exposures, because there wasnothing to save on that house,” Hart said. “We just tried tocontain it to that one building to keep it from spreading.”

Initial reports on scene were that the owners could have been athome at the time of the blaze, but officials said the family hadgone out of town for the weekend. No one was injured in theblaze.

“At one point we went to not knowing whether we had a bodysearch or not,” said Etheridge. “But I think our guys and Hog Chainworked together well to complete the task of keeping it off theother structures and keeping everyone safe.”

Homeowners said they are requesting an investigator look intothe blaze.

“I talked to the family later on, and I also understand there isa possible investigation going on,” said Etheridge.

Heuck’s Retreat units were on scene until around 8 a.m.Sunday.