A fire in Lewiston on Tuesday night resulted in substantial damage to a home that had been under renovation.
Jake Johnson, Lewiston’s fire chief, said responded to the call around 10:45 p.m. around 1790 W. 2000 South in Lewiston.
“When we arrived on scene there was smoke coming out of the attic spaces,” Johnson said, explaining flames of the active blaze could also be seen from an opening.
Johnson said firefighters had the fire under control in around an hour but remained on scene until around 4 a.m. and checking the home periodically throughout the day Wednesday to ensure the fire had been sufficiently extinguished.
“I’m admiring the work that our folks did out here last night, because they really did a good job,” Johnson said.
All of the occupants, according to Johnson, were gone at the time of the fire. No people or animals were harmed. Johnson said the family had other living arrangements and were not displaced.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. While not a total loss, Johnson said with the current high cost of lumber and materials the estimated damage to the home was around $250,000.
According to Johnson, the home had been under renovation at the time of the fire. Though the extent of the damage looks minimal from the outside, Johnson said it’s “deceiving” because there are no structural members under the roof.
“There’s severe damage in there,” Johnson said. “All of the attic space has a lot of fire damage as well as the sheetrock from the ceilings came down. Due to the attic fire, we had to pull a lot of the ceiling down to expose the attic space to check and make sure. So yeah, there’s very extensive damage.”
For Johnson, there’s gratitude for the good neighbors who saw the fire and called authorities. Johnson said the volunteer firefighters in Lewiston responded, along with crews from Richmond, Smithfield, Trenton, Clarkston, Newton and an engine from Franklin County.
“Had we not had volunteers out here in our areas, the outcome would have been very much different,” Johnson said. “I mean that’s potentially burning right to the ground had we not had the volunteer departments.”
Johnson said it’s “difficult” to recruit volunteers and lauded the ones who sacrifice their time for the “very big commitment” of volunteer firefighting. Johnson said those interested in volunteering can contact their local city for opportunities.
“We’re always looking and we always need more,” Johnson said. “Without them we’d all be in big trouble.”