At 9:01am this morning, the first day of 2015, the first of multiple calls came into 9-1-1 reporting visible flames coming from a detached garage-type structure at 19195 SW Elwert Road in Sherwood. Callers reported that the structure was near a home and other smaller shop-type buildings. Crews upgraded the incident to a first-alarm response to bring additional units to the scene. Upon arrival, crews encountered large flames and immediately initiated a defensive fire attack after quickly confirming that no persons were inside the structure. Crews simultaneously protected the home and nearby structures while knocking down the fire in the affected building.
Initial reports indicated that up to seven animals may have been impacted by the fire. It was quickly confirmed that all persons and animals were accounted for and safely outside of the burning structure. No injuries were reported.
The rural location of the fire warranted use of multiple water tenders to bring water to the fire scene. SW Elwert Road was temporarily closed between SW Lebeau Road and SW Edy Road for firefighting operations and the safety of crews. Some water runoff from the firefighting effort covered parts of SW Elwert Road and given the freezing temperatures, resulted in small areas of wet and frozen road surface. Crews from Washington County Land Use and Transportation Department provided sand and gravel on the roadway for safety of drivers.
A TVF&R investigator determined that the fire was most likely caused by improper disposal of wood stove ashes. The area of origin for the fire was inside the detached garage-type structure. It was the only structure affected by the fire.
TVF&R reminds citizens to properly dispose of ashes in metal containers with lids and ensure that ashes are thoroughly cooled. Ashes should be kept outside and away from structures or combustible materials. For more tips, please visit: www.tvfr.com under the section ‘Safety & Education’.
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