Weekend blaze destroys Valley home; damage almost $300,000

Posted: Monday, November 25, 2002

Fire gutted a Mendenhall Valley home over the weekend causing nearly $300,000 in damage.

No one was home at the time, and no firefighters were injured during the blaze, Capt. Beth Weldon of Capital City Fire and Rescue said in a statement.

About 29 firefighters arrived at the Wren Street home around 7 p.m. Saturday to find it fully aflame and the middle section collapsed. Weldon said firefighters saw flames shooting through the roof and windows.

Fire crews were forced to fight the fire from the outside because of extensive structural damage, she said.

Kevin Gallagher, the homeowner, helped the fire crew by removing rubble and debris from the area with a backhoe so firefighters could extinguish small flare-ups remaining in the home.

The home and its contents, valued at an estimated $270,000, were totaled. Gallagher did not live in the home, but rented it to a couple, said fire Capt. Jerry Godkin.

The fire's cause remains under investigation, Godkin said, but it may have started in a boiler stack. Godkin said Gallagher told fire officials he was having trouble with the boiler for a few days and finished working on it about two hours before the fire started.

Gallagher could not be reached for comment.



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