The Bethel Fire Department responded to three fire calls in two days this week. On Wednesday at about 4 p.m. they got a call about a chimney fire at a home on Ptarmigan Road. Upon arrival, the fire had already been put out by the owner. The flue had caught fire.
Later in the evening they got a call that a trailer house was on fire in Trailer Court Subdivision. It ended up being a car that had engine problems. Part of the engine had burned.
On Thursday, at about 4:30 p.m. the fire department got a call about a house fire in Tundra Ridge Subdivision. It ended up being a small fire on the porch of the house behind a water pump.
A woman was home with children and the fire was blocking their way out. She threw some water on the fire and when Fire Chief George Young, who was already in the neighborhood, arrived he sprayed dry chemical on it. He helped the woman and children out of the house while windows were opened to air out the building. He says there was minor property damage worth about $1,500.
Young says in-home water pumps can cause problems if they overheat from running too long, like when the water runs out. He says a piece of equipment called a “low water cut-off” can be connected to the pumps which will automatically shut it off if the water drops below a certain amount of pressure.
Captain Bill Howell says this time of year people are getting their heating systems back up and running whether it’s their wood burning stoves or block heaters for their cars. He says chimneys need to be cleaned twice a year to keep creosote from building up. The department loans out brushes to the public for that purpose; people just need to stop by.
The fire department averages 126 fire calls a year, averaging about a call every two to three days. Meanwhile, the department’s EMS crew takes 1,100 emergency calls a year averaging over three calls per day.