Flames shot from the garage of the home in the 1500 block of Hoyt Avenue as Chopper 8 flew over the scene. Flames then went through the roof, sending four firefighters scooting along the roof line and down a ladder to safety.
It appears the flash of flame on the roof caught the firefighters by surprise, but it didn’t. Battalion Chief David Decker, who is in charge of training for IFD, said the firefighters cut a hole in the roof to vent the gas, flames and smoke and to prevent a potentially life-threatening flash over.
“Actually, Ladder 7 was the crew on the roof. They did cut a hole, but it had not breached the ceiling inside the residence yet. Once it breached the ceiling, it blew through the hole and did exactly what it was supposed to do,” Decker said.
The firefighters did need to use a second ladder they brought on the roof with them, because the first one was too close to the flash of fire to be used to get down.
Family members said the sound of the fire is what woke them, although the home does have functional smoke detectors.
Due to a medical condition, the woman who was injured didn’t awake right away. Firefighters had to wake her up. She was taken to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Health in serious condition, but her condition has since improved to good condition.
Fire officials estimate the fire left about $150,000 in damages. Five people were home at the time of the fire, but everyone else got out of the home without injuries. Investigators have not yet found the cause of the fire.