CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Investigators are still looking into a house fire this morning in the Lake Chesdin area. They know it started in the garage, and then spread to the home, but they aren't sure yet what sparked the blaze.
"Upon their arrival they found a very large dwelling, somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 to 5 thousand square feet in size, with heavy fire showing from an attached garage," said Chesterfield County Fire Chief Edward Senter.
A large home is not uncommon in this rural neighborhood--but it did make these crews jobs a lot harder. A blaze broke out just before 8 a.m. at 15513 Chesdin Manor Drive. No one was hurt, but major destruction was left behind.
"We are in a rural part of the county so the fire stations are more spread out, so it takes a little bit longer to get those resources on scene," Senter said.
Today, more than 40 personnel were on site quickly with 6 engines and 2 ladder trucks in tow. Six months ago this could have been a different story. The closest fire station is more than 10 minutes away and has only been staffed around the clock since September of last year. Before that it was just daylight hours on weekdays.
"So we had career staff at the station when the alarm sounded, they were able to respond immediately without delay," said Senter. "We feel that was very important in this particular case."
This certainly isn't the first garage fire we've covered, and firefighters have some advice to help avoid a similar situation.
"In general terms, don't store cans of gasoline or other flammable liquids in your garage, make sure that you are using good housekeeping at all times, don't let a lot of boxes or clutter accumulate in your garage that if there was a fire, that it would fuel the fire," said Senter.
Firefighters of course stress the importance of having a working smoke detector. There are even some alarms on the market that you can put into your garage and link into the central system in your home.