Firefighters were unable to prevent the loss of a home Monday despite a quick response time of 4 minutes.
The house, located at 315 Old Viola Road, is 1.6 miles from McMinnville Fire Station One.
“The call went out at about 9 a.m., and we spent about two hours on it,” said Fire Chief Kendall Mayfield. “It was an older home. We didn’t see any insulation in the attic. Not sure if there was any in the walls, but there wasn’t any in the attic. When it caught fire, the whole structure went up. We couldn’t save it. The home is a total loss.”
Insulation acts as a fire retardant. Without it, there’s little to slow the spread of a fire.
At home at the time was Annie Melson, who gave insight about where the blaze started.
“She said she got up and went to put a load of clothes in the washing machine,” said Mayfield. “The next thing she knew that whole room was on fire. It was probably electrical. She said she was barely able to escape the home.”
Initial reports placed two people at home.
“Her grandson was living with her,” said Mayfield. “She was able to get out, but couldn’t find him. She thought that it’s early and he would still be in bed. She reported that he was still inside. He came home while we were still there. He had gotten up early that morning and left. He didn’t tell her he was leaving. This could have been a lot worse. We initially thought it was going to be a lot worse.”
American Red Cross was called to assist the family.