Firefighters Walk through house fire to determine cause
YUMA, AZ - Three house fires in three days. Luckily for one man whose house burned down this weekend he was able to escape the flames and get out alive.
As of Monday fire officials continue to investigate. Yuma Fire Investigator Tony Brinson says, "With all the palm trees and the two vehicles, plus the home itself, the fire was quite significant."
It took firefighters 30 minutes to put out the flames that engulfed the house on La Casita Drive early Sunday morning. Today Brinson says they are still working to determine how it started. He says "we start from the least burned and go to the most burned."
News 13 went along to get a first hand look to see how firefighters find clues hidden within the ashes. Brinson says "We rule out things until the area of origin." For fire investigators, key indicators to determine where a fire started is by first identifying the most damaged areas. Brinson says they look for deep char burning called alligatoring. By finding this it means one particular area burned real hot."
The hot spot then helps firefighters pin point the source that caused the fire. In Sundays house fire the trail of burnt evidence lead them straight to an HVAC heating unit located in the hallway. Brinson says, "I can't definitely say that the heater itself is the cause of the fire, but a loose connection could have played a part in it."
Firefighters say the man who lived at the house suffered minor injuries due to smoke inhalation. Brinson says "He got out on his own. He heard a boom, woke up, saw fire, left and got a green garden house and reentered to try and extinguish the fire himself."
Firefighters say he tried to save two of his dogs, but the flames were too powerful for a water hose. Fire officials say house fires, like Sunday's, should serve as a reminder on the importance on having a smoke detector. He says, "Working smoke detectors in your house will wake you up. That's what their made to do is make a beeping sound to wake you up in the event of a fire."
Along with faulty heaters, unattended kitchen fires are the number one reason for house fires this time of year.
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