Firefighters battle house fire

City of Bellbrook, Ohio firefighters were kept busy last night, battling a structure fire on Periwinkle Drive that caused $40,000 in damage to the residence and it's contents.

City of Bellbrook Communications dispatched crews to 2466 Periwinkle Drive at 2339 hours Saturday night on a report of a structure fire. Upon arrival, Chief Scott Hall established Periwinkle Command and reported heavy smoke from the rear of the structure. That smoke soon gave way to flames, as the fire spread from a rear living room area into the roof.

Firefighters made an aggressive assault on the fire, while also covering the resident's belongings to protect them from further smoke and water damage. The fire was under control and the situation contained at 0100 hours.

Two engines, one ladder, one rescue and a medic from Bellbrook were dispatched, and Command requested an additional engine from Sugarcreek Township at 2347 hours. More than 20 firefighters operated at the scene.

The fire's spread may have been aided by a delay in the time between the discovery of the fire and the call for assistance. The homeowner attempted to extinguish the fire before calling, allowing the fire to grow.

Chief Hall said that evacuating early and calling from a neighbor's home are very important during the critical early minutes of a fire.

"It's a cornerstone of our fire prevention programs, and having an escape route, leaving early and calling from a neighbor's house is the only way to help make sure you or a loved one won't get hurt," he said.

The addition of the 24-hour staffing also helped get the incident under control quickly.

"The in-house crew was on the scene just three minutes after the call, and helped lay the groundwork for a quick stop on a fast fire," Hall said.