Jefferson Township Fire Department: Lawsuit Settled

The heat is off for 12 local firefighters.

The suit claimed, "defendants (JTFD and 12 firefighters individually named in the suit) failed to perform their services at subject property in professional manner including, but not limited to, failing to take adequate steps to ensure that damages were minimized, running out of water to extinguish the blaze and failing to utilize close resources as an alternative water supply."

The fire started in the attached garage, where George Staton was welding on a car about 4:30 p.m. The day after the fire, JTFD Chief Bill Houk said Staton believed a spark flew from the welder onto a car seat.

Staton attempted to use a fire extinguisher on the fire, then went outside to get a garden hose to further try to extinguish the blaze, but was unable to enter the garage again, Houk said.

The garage was fully engulfed in flames and the fire was spreading to the house when firefighters from JTFD arrived at the scene. The car in the garage was destroyed. A car in the driveway also was destroyed. A third vehicle, also in the driveway, was heavily damaged.

The house and its attached garage were heavily damaged. Firefighters remained on the scene three hours and returned an hour later in response to a report that the fire had rekindled. They returned to the scene shortly after 7 a.m. the following day, to deal with another rekindle.

Personnel from eight area fire departments assisted units from Jefferson Township Fire Department.