Fire Gutted Wayne Home on Christmas Night
Police said hot ashes seemed to be cause of Beechwood Drive blaze.
A Beechwood Drive home was deemed uninhabitable after a fire completely gutted the house Tuesday night.
One firefighter was transported to Chilton Hospital with an elevated heart rate and high blood pressure after battling the blaze. He was released later Tuesday.
According to Wayne Police Capt. Mark McGrath, the fire appeared to have started on the back deck where a plastic bucket of hot ashes seemed to catch on fire and ignite the home. McGrath said the homeowner told police he had cleaned the ashes from the home's fireplace and put them in the bucket, but that he had watered the ashes before placing them outside. The homeowner also told police that there was no fire or signs of smoke when he and his family left the home to visit relatives for Christmas, McGrath said.
But police received a call for the fire at 5:42 p.m. and when they responded to the scene, the home was fully engulfed in flames. No people were inside the home at the time of the fire, McGrath said.
"The homeowners were not at home and that information was not immediately known. It did take a little bit of time to confirm that they were not home," McGrath said.
McGath said the fire was so intense that determining if the homeowners were inside became a challenge.
"The fire conditions were so severe, no one was able to enter the house to see if anyone was home," he said.
At one point, fire officials were also concerned that a pet may have been in the burning home, but McGrath said it was later confirmed that no pets were injured. With the exception of the firefighter, no people were injured and no other property damage was sustained.
Within about 45 minutes, McGrath said the fire was under control, although fire officials and police remained on the scene for about three hours clearing the scene.
The home has been deemed uninhabitable and McGrath said he is unsure whether the structure will need to be knocked down.