Three fire departments responded last week to a residential house fire in the 1400 block of Silver River Road.
Midlothian, Ovilla and Waxahachie fire departments each sent firefighters to the fire, which was called in shortly after 3 p.m on July 9.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Midlothian Fire Chief David Schrodt said it is believed to be electrical in nature.
The single-story, wood frame, brick veneer home was almost totally destroyed by the fire.
“We think it started in the attic,” Schrodt said. “The first thing you think of is electrical problems, although there is no way of knowing for sure. There had been some electrical problems in the house for quite some time.”
Schrodt said the owner told him he had smelled smoke earlier in the day but was unsuccessful in finding its source. The owner told Schrodt he thought about calling but didn’t want to bother the fire department.
“Whatever it was, it was probably smoldering and finally took hold and took off,” Schrodt said.
There were no injuries, and the occupant was able to get out of the home safely, Schrodt said, saying the man was alerted to the presence of smoke by his small dog.
“His little dog came in barking up a storm, and he got up to see what was causing her to get upset,” Schrodt said. “He went into the living room and saw smoke.”
Schrodt encourages people who think there is a problem to call the department.
“We do have a thermal imaging camera and we can certainly use that to check things out,” Schrodt said. “If a person smells smoke, we much prefer they call us and let us come out and investigate.
“We can use our camera, our noses and our eyes,” he said. “We’ll search everywhere we can to find out what is causing the odor and maybe, maybe we can locate it before it becomes a rip-roaring fire.”
On Monday, the fire already was through to the roof on the departments’ arrival, with firefighters forced to lay 1,000 feet of 5-inch hose to reach the nearest fire hydrant.
“When we got on scene, on the west side of the attic the fire had already burned to the roof, which was open to the wind blowing from the west,” Schrodt said. “That westerly wind pushed the fire through the rest of the attic. It was way ahead of us when we got there.”
Firefighters were able to salvage some of the contents and the American Red Cross was called in to assist the owner.
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