Sandy home, shop total loss in fire
A fire Thursday evening, June 7, kept firefighters busy until about 4:30 a.m. Friday trying to find and extinguish smoldering fires inside the walls of a 1929 home alongside Bluff Road in Sandy.
By the time all flames, smoke and heat were gone, the 2,500-square-foot, three-level home and attached 2,000-square-foot workshop and garage had been destroyed, along with two vehicles and a fishing boat.
There were no injuries reported to the man, woman and two sons, ages 17 and 20, who were home when the fire started, according to Alice Busch, spokesperson for Sandy Fire and Rescue.
The blaze erupted quickly while the male residents were in the shop cutting a car apart with a gas cutting torch. The fire moved so quickly they were unable to stop it with a small fire extinguisher, Busch said.
'They had a little fire,' she said, 'and they thought they had put it out. So they continued cutting and then noticed they had a pretty big fire. But that fire was way too big for their fire extinguisher.'
They evacuated the woman from the home at 16215 Bluff Road and called 9-1-1. Eight minutes after the fire started, firefighters were called, but the shop was a total loss by that time and the home also was burning.
Only eight minutes, Busch said, to go from a large shop to nothing but smoking rubble. Losses inside the shop included two vehicles and an aluminum fishing boat.
'The fire gutted the entire home,' Busch said. 'The home and shop/garage are a total loss.'
The American Red Cross is assisting family members with temporary housing in a local hotel.
Even though the fire burned swiftly, firefighters were involved from 8:30 p.m. Thursday to about 4:30 a.m. Friday, Busch said.
There was extra space between walls and floors because the home had been remodeled multiple times over the 90-plus years of its existence. That space gave the fire places to smolder quietly - until a little breeze came through the now non-existent windows.
'Fires were rekindled in the home,' Busch said, 'but the home already was a total loss. So we just used a chainsaw to open some of the (2x6, tongue and groove wallboard) walls and extinguish the fires again.'
Replacement loss value of the home, shop, vehicles and home and shop contents is estimated to exceed $400,000.
Busch said the fire inspector didn't have any reason to suspect any other cause than the torch in the shop.