Weekend fire destroys garage in Wilmington

Tuesday February 5, 2013

WILMINGTON -- A fire on Smith Street left a garage destroyed in its aftermath.

Responders had no trouble controlling the fire after arriving to the scene on Saturday afternoon, just after 1 p.m.

"Everything went smooth," said Wilmington Fire Chief Ken March. "All the water trucks got hooked up together. We used about 6,000 gallons of water."

There were no injuries to anyone who lives at the house adjacent to the garage on the property or to responders at the scene.

On Saturday, the Wilmington Fire Department received a call at 1:14 p.m. The fire had been in control and started to die down around 3:30 or 4 p.m.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined. March told the Reformer that it wasn't considered a suspicious case.

The house, which is on a street off Route 100 and near the Sitzmark Pub and Grill, was far enough away from the garage that it went untouched by flames.

On Monday afternoon, debris from the structure remained on the ground at the scene. Wood and scattered ashes covered the parameter of where the garage once stood. A Jeep with its hood propped open also sat among the rubble.

The owners were not available to answer any questions.

The West Dover Fire Department, East Dover Fire Department and Whitingham Fire Department were all at the scene.

"It was knocked down quickly," said March, who added that he and his department are still investigating the cause.

In the winter, March encouraged people to remember a few things that can keep them and their homes safer.

"Make sure all flammable liquids are stored accordingly," he said.

March also stated that maintaining heating appliances is key during winter months. That includes making sure the appliances are still safe. Having the heating equipment and chimneys inspected and cleaned every year is a good idea to stay safe. A fireplace should have a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying across the room.

"Keep wood stove ashes away from anything flammable," he said.

Other tips include keeping anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment such as furnaces, woodstoves or portable heaters and when using a portable space heater, make sure it is turned off every time the room is left unattended.

Fireplace and woodstove ashes should be given time to cool before disposing them into a metal container.

Fighting fires in the winter, especially in weather that is below zero degrees, can be a difficult task. Hoses can freeze up. People are also more apt to slip and fall on ground that is icy or slippery.

When asked about the frequency of fire calls this season, March said there haven't been many serious situations in the area to which his department has had to respond.

"Fortunately, it's been relatively quiet for fires in the Deerfield Valley," he said.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter@CMaysReformer.


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