Sweet Home Fire Dist.
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News Release
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Early Morning Fire Destroys Unoccupied House on Highway 228 West of Sweet Home (Photo) - 01/06/22

A fire broke out in a house along the highway outside of Sweet Home today in the early morning hours.  A passerby called 911 reporting flames from the second story of the structure with vehicles in the driveway, at 3:43 am.  A first-alarm assignment was issued for fire crews out of Sweet Home who responded with 1 engine, 1 ambulance, 2 water tenders, a ladder truck, and 3 Chief officers.  When the first unit arrived on scene, at 3:54 am, the house was heavily-involved with flames 10-12 feet above the roof and venting out of the windows.  That unit took command and requested a second-alarm assignment which brought a water tender, a pumper tender, and a Chief officer from Lebanon Fire, a water tender from Brownsville, and a water tender and Chief Officer from Mohawk Valley Fire.  An occupant of the property arrived on scene early and notified the Incident Commander that the structure was vacant and that he had been in the house as recently as an hour and a half prior, and had been using the woodstove.  

Due to the instability of the structure both prior to the fire and resulting from the heavy fire upon crews arrival, the fire was fought defensively from the exterior of the structure.  The ladder truck was brought in for it's elevated stream in an effort to overhaul the structure and ensure complete extinguishment without undue risk to firefighters.  This tactic was successful, and was only possible as a result of the mutual aid assistance from neighboring districts which allowed crews to maintain an adequate water supply in an un-hydranted area.

The cause of the fire is undetermined, but believed to have resulted from a failure of the chimney lining and a build-up of creosote that resulted in a chimney fire which spread to the structure.