A couple was displaced from their home in the 700 block of West Calle Lerdo after a fire was started by candles being used on the back porch. The couple was sleeping when the sounds of their dogs barking and popping noises woke them up.
The female immediately evacuated the house while the male attempted to put the flames out with a green hose as he could see fire in the attic space from the rear of the home. TFD crews arrived on scene to find a heavy amount of smoke coming from the roof area of the home.
TFD crews escorted the male out of the area and began searching for the source of the fire. The first unit on scene suspected an attic fire due to the clear conditions inside the home and advised the Ladder crew to go to the roof to perform an attic reset. The ladder crew cut a small hole in the roof and then used a flame fighter nozzle, which pours hundreds of gallons per minute from above, acting like a sprinkler system.
This technique extinguished the fire from above rather than firefighters on the inside pulling down dry wall and spraying up into the attic, which is a more traditional technique. .
Nine units and twenty-three firefighters responded to the scene and controlled the fire twenty-seven minutes after arriving.
The couple, a 72 year-old male and 69 year-old female, were going to stay with relatives and did not need assistance from the Red Cross. The couple also had five small dogs and all 5 were okay.
Fire investigators were on scene and determined that candles being used as a religious shrine started the fire after catching the rear exterior wall of the house on fire. The fire then traveled up the exterior wall and into the attic space.
Safety Message: Candles are responsible for over 9,000 fires each year. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from combustible material and always blow them out before going to bed. If a candle must burn continuously, be sure it is enclosed in a glass container and placed in a sink, on a metal tray, or in a deep basin filled with water.