FREDERICKTOWN — An alert passerby noticed smoke coming from the eaves of the two-story home of the Andy Clevenger family at 20086 Knox Lake Road, just west of Mishey Road, on Monday morning. The Fredericktown Community Fire District was dispatched to the fire at 9:35 a.m.
Because the fire struck in the morning when many firefighters are working out of town, Chief Scott Mast called for mutual aid from Jefferson Township in Bellville and the Mount Vernon Fire Department in case volunteers from Fredericktown were not able to respond in large numbers.
“That’s a bad time of day for volunteers, but it worked out well for us,” Mast said, adding that 13 of his firefighters responded immediately.
We still needed the help,” he said of the 12 additional firefighters and three trucks provided by the other departments. “I was concerned about the water supply. There was a pond right in front of the house where we were able to draft from.”
Mast decided to use the compressed air foam system on one of the Fredericktown engines to fight the fire in order to conserve water and minimize the water damage to the home.
“We’re calculating we used about 1,200 gallons of water, which is just a little more than our first engine carries, so that was really good,” Mast said.
No one in the Clevenger was family was home at the time the fire started. Mast said investigators believe the blaze initiated in the floor and ceiling between the first and second stories.
“We called upon the state fire marshal to aid in the investigation, and their investigator came right away,” said Mast.
The investigator determined where the fire started, but was unable to definitively rule on a cause.
The fire was contained in about an hour, but firefighters continued to put foam on the fire as smoldering sections were found beneath the metal roof.
“The fire gets in between the wood framing and the metal roof and you really have to be diligent and stay on top of that to chase down the hot spots,” Mast explained.
Fredericktown firefighters remained on the scene into the afternoon for the cleanup and investigation. Mast said it was not clear if there were working smoke detectors in the home. The property is owned by Roy Robinson. No dollar amount in damage was specified by the state investigator, according to Mast.
The Knox County Chapter of the American Red Cross was on the scene to provide snacks and drinks for the firefighters, and to provide assistance to the family. Mast credits the 25 firefighters with saving the home.
“They did a fantastic job,” he said.
“The damage dollar amount will depend on whether or not the home is able to be repaired,” Mast said. “The family’s belongings were heavily damaged by smoke.”