Daily Leader photo/Larry Phillips Smoke still wafts from a pile of bricks and debris outside a house early Friday morning at 7 South Pershing Avenue as Cimarron Red Cross coordinator Sherry Helmke leaves the structure.
Helmke said no one was hurt and that the victims had relatives and friends they could stay with. A passerby awoke the three adult males in the home allowing them to escape unharmed. Although the home was equipped with smoke detectors, they were inoperable due to improper installation, Fire Chief Kelly Kirk said. “We were dispatched to 7 S. Pershing at
6:21 a.m. for a residential structure fire with flame showing on the roof of the home,” Kirk said. “Immediately prior to our entry, an abandoned brick chimney that extended through the roof in the middle of the home collapsed into one room of the residence.” Although the fire was extinguished rather quickly, Kirk said, crews remained on the scene for an hour and a half to work on the attic area. “The fire was quickly knocked down and fire crews remained on scene until 8:57 a.m. extinguishing hidden fire extension in the attic area,” he said.
“The main area of fire damage was the attic area, and the building sustained considerable structural damage from the collapse of the chimney.” An initial investigation determined the fire came from an electrical source. Smoke detectors were in the home but were not working. Had they been operable, the men in the home could have been alerted of the fire much earlier. “Preliminary investigation appears to indicate the cause of the fire to be electrical in nature,” Kirk said. “Smoke detectors were present in the residence, but were inoperable due to improper installation. “The fire department encourages citizens to test their smoke detectors monthly to ensure their operation,” Kirk added. “If citizens have questions regarding their detectors, they should not hesitate to contact the fire department for assistance at 626-0128 or 626-0561.”
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