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Attic fire causes problems for firefighters

By:  Margie Trax Page - Star Beacon

ASHTABULA - - An attic fire damaged the house at 3704 Station Ave. Saturday afternoon as firefighters worked to gain access to the flames.

The Ashtabula Fire Department was called to the two-story, single-family home at 5:12 p.m. and found smoke coming from the roof peak of the house. Firefighters immediately gained entry to the home, fire department reports show.

The owner of the home told firefighters the fire was in the attic, but said there was no access to the attic portion of the house, reports show.

After a quick search of the first floor, firefighters ran a hose to the second floor of the house to gain access to the eaves of the house and the fire by chopping two holes in the ceiling. Fire was found in a wall of the first floor. That wall had an extension to the attic, reports show.

"It isn't unusual for these older houses to have sealed-off attics. When these houses were built the people were thinking about energy efficiency, not storage," firefighter Doug Roxberry said. "When there is no scuttle or hatchway to the attic, we have to make our own hole," he said.

While firefighters extinguished the attic fire, more flames were found on the first floor. The fire was under control at 5:31 p.m., reports show.

With the fire extinguished, the department worked to ventilate the first floor and the attic and began to tear down walls to check for live embers, reports show.

"We have to make sure there is no way for the fire to rekindle," Roxberry said.

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