Fire damages Andy home

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 9, 2015

Flashing lights and sirens woke many residents during the early morning hours Thursday as Andalusia Fire Department responded to a house fire on Dunson Street.

The home located at 340 Dunson St., owned by Charlotte Ward, was engulfed in flames when the AFD responded at 1:17 a.m. Thursday morning.

“Once on the scene, we noticed the front porch area was fully engulfed,” Firefighter Larry Brown said in his report. “The living room was also engulfed.”

A neighbor, Alice Mahomes, said her dog alerted her to the fire and that’s when she called for help.

“I don’t generally stay up that late, but I’m thankful I was,” Mahomes said. “I don’t know what would have happened if my dog hadn’t alerted me to it.”

Mahomes said her little Dachshund got a really deep bark and she went outside to see what the “danger” was and saw her neighbors’ house in flames.

“The swing on the front porch was just flaming,” Mahomes said. “I almost had a heart attack.”

The fire was believed to have started in the living room, but a definite cause was not reported.

Brown said firefighters used the pressure fan to help remove smoke from the home, overhauled the living room and sprayed hot spots.

Overhauling means opening walls, ceilings, voids and partitions to check for fire extension in both the precontrol and postcontrol phases.

The Alabama Department of Public Health suggests residents follow these safety recommendation when trying to make a warm environment for your family:

• do not use your oven to heat your home.

• make sure space heaters carry the mark of an independent testing laboratory and are legal for use in your community;

• plug your electric-powered space heater into an outlet with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord;

• install your space heater according to manufacturer’s instructions or applicable codes, consider professional installation;

• use the proper fuel as well as the proper grade for your liquid-fueled space heater. Refuel only in a well-ventilated area and when the equipment is cool;

• turn off space heaters whenever the room they are in is unoccupied or under circumstances when manufacturer’s instructions say they should be turned off. Portable space heaters are so easy to knock over in the dark that they should be turned off when going to bed. Make sure your primary heating equipment for the bedrooms is sufficient to avoid risks to residents from severe cold.