Litchfield Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to 909 North Montgomery Street at 4:24 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18, to a report of a bedroom filling with smoke.
Litchfield Police Department arrived on scene prior to the fire department and reported heavy smoke and flames visible. The shift commander upgraded the alarm to a full still which brought in additional resources. Litchfield Volunteer Fire Dept. Unit Squad #810 arrived to find a single-story wood framed residential structure with light smoke visible, but no flames.
Access was gained to the interior which exhibited light smoke. Attempts to access the attic space via the ceiling were unsuccessful due to the construction materials. Engine #802 arrived and secured a water supply from the hydrant at N. Montgomery and Park. While connecting the hydrant the crew of #802 could see fire in the attic space and fire was venting through the roof. Multiple handlines were deployed and a defensive attack was commenced.
The fire was extinguished and placed under control at 6:30 a.m. The south west section of the attic and roof structure sustained the most severe damage and consumption from the fire. An investigation into the origin and cause of the fire was conducted and determined to have originated in the attic space in the south west section and was accidental in nature.
Upon surveying the damage sustained it was determined that building was unsafe and the building inspector was requested to respond to the scene. After an evaluation with the building inspector and incident command it was determined that the structure was not structurally safe and the need to request the services of an excavator to remove the chimney which was unstable. After speaking with the excavation company they did not have the appropriate machinery to conduct safely. The building inspector and command determined that fencing the parameter around the structure was the best option at this time. All fire units cleared the scene at 9:30 a.m.
Litchfield Volunteer Fire Department received mutual aid from Raymond-Harvel Fire Department, Witt Volunteer Fire Department, Hillsboro Ambulance Service, Mt. Olive Volunteer Fire Department and Carlinville Fire Protection District. Ameren and Litchfield Police Department were also on scene. The fire was fought by six Litchfield personnel, staffing four apparatus.
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