It’s always a bad idea to leave a burning candle in an unoccupied space. You never know when fate will strike. For example, Pretty Paws the Cat, may choose to walk around, hitting the flickering candle in the hanging drapes. It’s unclear if felines were involved, but an unattended candle sparked a fire in a home in the 300 block of Garfield Avenue shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday night.
It took Battle Creek firefighters just three minutes to arrive on the scene, where they saw smoke and fire coming from a second-floor bedroom.
Crews from Engine 2 and Squad 2 fired a hose into the house and up the stairs to put out the fire. The fire was quickly brought under control within 10 minutes, minimizing damage estimated at $15,000. After the fire was extinguished, the crew of Truck 1 aired out the structure, while the Rescue 3 and Engine 5 crews performed support duties.
All occupants were able to get out of the house before firefighters arrived. Two occupants were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. A candle in the second floor bedroom was determined to be the cause of the fire.
It all reminds me of a Friday night high school football game in Galesburg in 1970. My buddy Gary and I were at the game when we heard the fire station siren start blaring. The sound of fire truck sirens began to increase as firefighters headed north from Galesburg. Gary looked at me, with a distant look in his eyes, and said, “Wow man, looks like they’re heading towards my neighborhood.” I left a lit candle in my room.
Gary and I got into my 1964 Ford Fairlane and headed to his house, a commune on Maple Street. When we arrived, Galesburg firefighters threw a smoldering mattress out the second-story window of the young hippie’s bedroom.
Gary, with a dazed look on his face, said slowly, “Bummer…man…”
Mysterious fire in an abandoned neighborhood in Ohio
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