Investigation into house fire under way
SALEM- The state fire marshal continues investigating a fire that gutted an East Third Street home over the weekend.
Firefighters responded to 654 E. Third St. at 11:39 p.m. Saturday where the multi-residential home was engulfed in flames on two sides. All residents were out of the building.
According to the fire report, firefighters, with assistance from the Perry Township department, attempted to transition from an exterior to interior attack of the blaze, but found the conditions too hazardous and the structure unstable.
That instability manifested itself when the chimney toward the back of the home collapsed while firefighters were inside, a neighbor said. Salem Chief Jeff Hughes said all the firefighters got out safely.
Personnel then began a defensive stance and pulled all additional lines from the building.
Firefighters also had trouble attacking the fire from the back due to a live power line that came down, until Ohio Edison arrived to cut off electricity.
During the battle, the department reportedly experienced inadequate water supply, hindering the attempt to extinguish the flames.
Losses were estimated at $83,500 property and $20,000 content.
No one was injured during the incident and no cause has been determined.
The department cleared the scene at 5:48 a.m. Sunday.
When the call first came in, Salem firefighters were across town at Home Depot, for what one firefighter termed a problem with a compressor.
Perry Township firefighters were northwest of the downtown near Pennsylvania Avenue, where a mechanical problem caused a train to emit a large amount of smoke.