An area family was displaced Sunday night after a fire damaged portions of their home on Prairie Valley Road.
The Lone Grove Fire Department responded to the structure fire shortly after 4:53 p.m. Sunday. Lone Grove Fire Chief Stacy Phelps said the homeowner saw smoke coming from the eaves of the house after returning home Sunday evening.
“He went and opened the front door and all the smoke and stuff hit him,” Phelps said. “I’m sure the fire was smoldering at the time, then he went in through the garage to get his bikes and stuff out... So now we had two doors open, so I’m sure it wasn’t smoldering no more.”
Phelps said the fire was likely electrical in nature, adding that he believes the fire started in the home’s laundry room, originating from the clothes dryer’s electrical plug which went from a smoldering state to a full blaze after being fed by the draft of oxygen created when multiple doors were opened.
Phelps said he was the first to respond to the fire, shortly before the first fire engine. The quick response allowed the department to prevent a total loss of the home.
“There is no damage to the actual structure, just drywall and stuff like that,” Phelps said, adding that most of the home had sustained smoke damage and would need repairs before it was livable again.
“If you get new appliances or something that needs a new plug, always use a licensed electrician, it needs to be up to code,” Phelps said.
Phelps added that winter months tend to increase the risk of structure fires as homeowners take various measure to heat their homes. Phelps cautioned residents to not use extension cords to operate home appliances, and to use extra caution when using space heaters and wood fireplaces.
“Have your chimney cleaned,” Phelps said. “We go on chimney fires all the time, where they haven’t cleaned the chimney in five years, they throw some wood in there and light it up and that sap in the chimney catches on fire and now we have a problem.”
“Everyone is safe, that’s the most important thing,” Phelps said.
Phelps said the home was occupied by three adults and two children, adding that the Red Cross was notified and that the family would be provided a hotel for the night.