Bellefontaine Examiner

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Firefighters battle house fire during heat wave

High temperatures continue today

Mburg fire-trio 2

HOT JOB — Allen Township firefighters, from left, Cole Thomas, Zach Welch and Clayton Springs, cool off at the scene of a Tuesday evening structure fire at 10422 Columbus St., Middleburg. At least one firefighter required medical attention for a heat-related illness. (EXAMINER PHOTO/T.J. HUBBARD)

Firefighters from multiple departments who were dispatched to the scene of a house fire Tuesday afternoon in Middleburg fought the blaze in the midst of temperatures hovering around 90 degrees with high humidity.

An Allen Township firefighter was transported by squad to Memorial Hospital of Union County in Marysville after he sustained heat-related injuries. He reportedly was treated and released from the hospital, according to Chief Rod Goddard.

About 5 p.m., crews were dispatched to the fire at 10422 Columbus St. to a home owned by Bob Shonkwiler. Tenant Allen Couch and his family escaped the home without any injuries.

In addition to the Allen Township units, other departments dispatched to the scene included Perry Township, North Lewisburg, Liberty Township, Union Township and West Liberty fire departments and Macochee EMS personnel.

“Because of the high heat index outside, we try to send as much help as is available,” Chief Goddard said this morning. “We had a lot of good support from area departments.”

Smoke was showing at the residence when the firefighters arrived and there were flames present in the attic area of the home.

Chief Goddard said the origin of the fire is believed to be a ceiling fan in the living room area of the home. The fire was contained to the living room and attic area, and firefighters cleared the scene shortly before 8 p.m.

Moderate damage was reported to the home, which is still structurally sound, Chief Goddard said. However, crews had to remove ceiling insulation in the living room, which will require extensive cleanup.

“The home will take a lot of cleanup before it can be lived in again,” the chief said.

Today, temperatures again are expected to reach 90 degrees with high humidity. Residents are advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day, which is typically between 1 and 6 p.m.

The elderly, the infirm and the very young are most susceptible to heat-related health problems. Be sure to check on elderly neighbors and relatives, local health officials advise.

Read the full story in Wednesday's Examiner.

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