Salem firefighters battle weekend fires

Staff reports

SALEM — Salem firefighters battled two house fires over the weekend, with three dogs perishing in a Prospect Street fire early Saturday and a dog on Cedar Street alerting the owner to a fire early Sunday, allowing both to get out safely.

Both fires were listed as undetermined for cause, with no injuries to firefighters or human occupants. Salem firefighters received the call about the first fire at 4:19 a.m. Saturday in the 600 block of Prospect Street, finding the resident standing on the sidewalk in front of the house. She advised of a dog inside. Fire Chief Scott Mason reported Monday that there were three dogs who died at the scene.

Fire was showing from multiple windows on the first floor and from a second story window when firefighters started their attack to extinguish the flames. According to the report, the house was a total loss, with the value of the two-story home listed as $34,000 and the value of contents as $5,000. Damages were listed for the same amounts.

The resident owner was assisted on scene by family members.

KLG Ambulance was on standby for firefighters, and Ohio Edison and Columbia Gas were both called to disconnect utilities. Firefighters remained at the scene until 6:53 a.m. Saturday.

The second fire was reported at 8:08 a.m. Sunday in the 600 block of Cedar Street by a neighbor, with smoke visible while the department was en route. A police officer who was on patrol less than a block away arrived first and saw the south side of the structure engulfed in flames.

Several people were outside, including the resident who said no persons or pets remained inside. The resident said his dog alerted him to the fire and he was able to get out safely along with the dog. Next door neighbors had seen the smoke and flames and were on the way to the front door when he emerged.

The police report said due to the close proximity next door, the neighbors moved their vehicle out of the driveway and down the street. Police blocked off South Lincoln and Mullins to protect fire hoses while fire personnel worked.

The resident told police the portion of the home where the fire appeared concentrated was not part of the living space and had not been used in quite some time.

Firefighters started their attack through the windows, then made entry, finding the roof had collapsed on the rear of the one-story ranch structure before they came inside. The fire had self-ventilated through the windows at the rear of the house and firefighters extinguished it and found no extension when looking for hot spots.

According to the fire report, the neighbor’s garage on the west side had vinyl siding damaged. The heat also damaged a shed at the rear of the burning structure and damaged a vehicle in the garage.

Damages were listed as $30,000 for the structure, which was valued at $85,000, and $5,000 for contents, which were valued as $30,000.

Firefighters remained on the scene until 9:46 a.m. Sunday. Perry Township Fire Department had also asked to respond for more manpower.

All shifts were called to respond for Salem for both fires.


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