FERRIS – Firefighters were dispatched to extinguish a structure fire in the 1000 block of Farm-to-Market 983 at 7:32 a.m. Wednesday.

“There was one owner there at the time of the fire and her husband had just gotten home from work. They had smelled a lot of smoke and thought it was the fireplace. Then, when the smoke turned to black, they knew it was more than the fireplace,” Ferris Fire Chief Eddie Duran said, saying the couple evacuated the structure.

The firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke exiting the back of the residence and a fully-involved porch that had fire coming from underneath it. They did an interior attack, finding that the fire was below floor level. The fire had found a weak spot and made its way between the brick and the wooden floor, Duran said, saying it likely had been going on for several hours before it was noticed.

“They had to bring out the chainsaws and they used the K-12 tool, a rescue saw with a circular blade, to cut out the floor,” Duran said.

Two levels of flooring, each about an inch thick, had to be cut, making fire operations difficult, he said, saying that once through the flooring, firefighters were able to attack the blaze.

Also making fire operations difficult were the cold weather and blowing wind, he said, saying that tankers were shuttled to supply the scene with water.

The fire damaged about a 20-feet by 30-feet section of the living room floor and the porch, Duran said, saying that the electric meter was pulled, with Oncor contacted to shut the power off.

Providing assistance were members of the Palmer and Red Oak fire departments, with county fire marshal’s office investigator Jim Pharr, the American Red Cross and CareFlite EMS also on hand.

A Palmer firefighter was treated and released at the scene after cutting his finger while removing the metal skirting around the porch.

About 17 firefighters answered the call, with units clearing the scene at 10:20 a.m.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1458.