Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bellevue blaze caused by kitchen mishap

Cat dies but occupants not injured

Express Staff Writer

Used kitchen utensils left beside an electric range that had been left on during the day reportedly caused a fire Saturday at 716 Walnut St. in Bellevue. The Bellevue Fire Department responded to the fire at about 4:30 p.m.

Bellevue Fire Chief Greg Beaver said a couple and two children who live in the house returned home from skiing to find their home filled with dense smoke, and immediately called 911.

“Everyone was safe,” Beaver said. “But a cat belonging to the family was lost due to smoke inhalation.”

Beaver said both the husband and wife have family in town, so they will not be without shelter.

“The kitchen was destroyed and the rest of the house was smoked up pretty good, but there was no structural damage. They will be able to reoccupy the house eventually,” he said.

A total of 14 firefighters and three engines from the Bellevue and Hailey fire departments and Wood River Fire & Rescue responded to the fire. Bellevue firefighter Skylar Vollmer was the first to respond and served as incident commander. 

“He was there within a couple of minutes, gave it a good size-up and directed the other personnel,” Beaver said. “It was his first time and he did a bang-up job.”

Beaver said he is thankful that the blaze happened in winter when no windows were open.

“If it had been summer with windows open, the access to oxygen could have caused it to blow up real quick,” he said.

Beaver said people should take heed from the incident and make sure all cooking elements and appliances are turned off before they leave home, including coffee pots and clothes dryers.

“Dryers tend to catch on fire when no one is home, due to a buildup of lint,” he said.

Tony Evans:




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