Two unrelated house fires in Robinson and Lacy Lakeview on Thursday night and early Friday morning kept fire crews busy and sent one man to the hospital.
Duplex residents noticed smoke filling their duplex in the 200 block of Kettler Drive shortly before 7 p.m. when they called 911, Robinson Volunteer Fire Chief Gerald Groppe said. Fire crews arrived quickly and learned the fire appeared to have started in the attic of the neighboring duplex that was vacant at the time.
"A firefighter actually lives across the street, so in this case, it was a really good thing," Groppe said. "It appears there was some kind of electrical short in the attic that was over the other side of the duplex and that caused the side of the duplex that was occupied to get smoky."
Firefighters extinguished the fire and inspected the entire structure for additional hot spots, Groppe said. The fire caused minor damage to the occupied duplex, but resident Becca Kinerd said she and her family of four stayed in a hotel Thursday night due to the strong smell of smoke.
"I do know that the police department showed up before we were even off the phone with dispatch," Kinerd said. "Both the police and fire departments are the reason we didn't lose everything and we are so thankful."
No injuries were reported.
In Lacy Lakeview, one man was taken to a local hospital after firefighters were called to the 300 block of Barbara Street shortly after 5:30 a.m. Friday on a separate house fire, Fire Chief Patty Byars-Faulkner said.
The man was able to get two children and another adult out of the house before fire crews arrived.
"Everyone got out of the house OK, but there were no smoke detectors, so they are very, very lucky that someone was awake when the fire happened," the fire chief said. "They also didn't have a fire extinguisher either, but smoke detectors are huge, because I've seen them save lives."
The man was taken to the hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation and may have other injuries. Byars-Faulkner said she was unaware of the man's status Friday afternoon.
The fire was under control within about an hour, but significant damage was done to the home. Byars-Faulkner said the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the fire does not appear to be intentional.