A duplex at 720/722 S. North Street caught fire and suffered heavy damage early Friday morning, according to reports from the Washington Fire Department (WFD).
At approximately 12:34 a.m., an alarm sounded at the Washington Fire Department on a report of a structure fire. While en route, the fire department was advised that Washington Police Department (WPD) officers were reporting fire showing from the structure. Upon arrival, the fire department took immediate notice of heavy smoke and fire in the rear of unit 720 S. North Street.
“IC (completed) size up while Engine 135 laid in a 5 inch supply line,” the WFD report said. “During the walk around and size up, fire was observed in unit 722. Occupant of 722 reported everyone was out and unit 720 was vacant.”
After the initial observations, firefighters forced entry into unit 720 and initiated an interior fire attack. Firefighters advanced towards the rear of the structure and encountered heavy fire and high heat. It was observed by the crew during this time that the building was beginning to deteriorate and the roof began to weaken. Firefighters were ordered to evacuate the building.
“IC announced the incident was now a defensive fire and Ladder 138 was requested to the scene,” the report said. “The fire attack went into defensive exterior operations with handlines. An exposure structure on the C side of the fire building was protected with a handline.”
During this time, mutual aid was requested from Concord Green Township Volunteer Fire Department, and they were asked to set up a master stream in the rear alley and to establish their water supply from Sycamore Street. BPM Joint Fire District was also requested for mutual aid for station coverage.
An aerial master stream was set up and put into operation to control the fire advancing through the second floor and attic space. Fire ground operations were coordinated back and forth between master streams, and firefighters working from ladders in multiple areas to gain access into void spaces and parts of the collapsed structure for stream access and to help extinguish the fire.
“DP&L was requested to the scene to shut off the electrical power supply,” the report said. “Water department was requested to shut off the domestic water supply to the structure. Gas meters were observed shut off and locked. Red Cross was contacted to assist with the displaced occupants.”
After three hours from the initial report, the fire was controlled and after six hours, the last unit cleared from the scene. Despite their best efforts, Lt. Martin Rennison considered the structure a total loss.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy