Ashland fire causes $20,000 in damage before crews snuff it

A quickly extinguished attic fire caused about $20,000 of damage to an Ashland home this morning.

A couple reported a fire at their house in the 200 block of Meade Street at 7:24 a.m., Ashland fire investigator Shawn Branaugh said. Two engines from Ashland Fire and Rescue and one from Jackson County Fire District No. 5 responded, then called a second alarm to bring three more engines to the house.

Smoke poured from the attic of the home and crews attacked the fire there, knocking it down quickly. They used a thermal imaging camera to check for hidden hot spots and removed parts of the ceiling to reach all the smoldering areas. Branaugh noted that before the department had such cameras, crews had to remove all sheetrock from the walls and ceiling to ensure no fire continued to burn undiscovered. Now property damage can be limited, as it was in this case.

Firefighters cleared the scene at about 10 a.m., but an investigator remained at the scene to determine the cause of the blaze, Branaugh said.

The homeowners reported to the fire department that they had experienced electrical problems, with breakers flipping overnight. They also recently had relied on space heaters because of problems with the home's heating system.

— Anita Burke

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