On November 16th at approximately 1AM, Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR) crews from Stations 1 and 3 responded to a residential house fire.
At the scene, crews found a fully involved two-story home. Because the fire had progressed and consumed every room in the home and burned through the second story floor, firefighters began a defensive attack to stop the fire from spreading to a nearby wooded area and businesses.
The home was originally believed to be abandoned, however the owners confirmed that a family friend had been staying there for the past two weeks. Crews had the fire contained within 15 minutes of arrival, however extensive overhaul will be required to safely conduct an investigation.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, every year in the United States, about 2,000 people lose their lives in residential fires. About two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms are considered to be one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire and could reduce by almost half the risk of dying from a fire in your home.
“This fire shows the importance of working home smoke detectors,” said Assistant Fire Chief Shawn Hillhouse. “I want to remind citizens to be cognizant of responsible fire safety practices as the city begins to experience colder than normal temperatures and high winds.”
The Fire Investigator from GFR, working with the Gainesville Police Department, located the missing victim at the Shands Hospital around 5AM this morning. The victim was treated for minor injuries.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.