Eureka Springs fire: Firefighters treated for heat exhaustion
Two Eureka Springs firefighters were sent to the hospital after putting out a fire on Spring Street on Friday, Sept. 22.
Fire marshal Jim Kelley said Monday the firefighters were the only people who suffered any injuries in the blaze, attributing the heat exhaustion to 90-degree temperatures and high humidity. The firefighters are doing well now, Kelley said.
“They were released just a few hours later and they fully recovered,” Kelley said.
Kelley said the first call came in about the fire at 9:23 a.m. Friday morning, saying a structure fire was reported at Crescent Cottage on Spring Street. He was one of the first firefighters on the scene, Kelley said.
“We had smoke coming from underneath the porch area at the street level and down on the sides of the building,” Kelley said. “There was no fire seen anywhere, but heavy smoke was emitted from major parts of the building.”
The owners of the building, Kelley said, were on the back deck drinking coffee when they heard smoke alarms go off.
“They went inside to see what it was and realized the parlor room on the street level was filling full of smoke fast,” Kelley said. “They got out of the house and called 911.”
The fire department put out a call for all available firefighters, Kelley said, including those from Holiday Island, Inspiration Point and Grassy Knob. Grassy Knob Rural Fire Department couldn’t respond because of Bikes, Blues and BBQ, Kelley said, but Holiday Island sent five firefighters and Inspiration Point sent four. Midwest Medical Transport was there on standby, Kelley said.
“We worked for just over an hour before we had control of the fire, and then about two hours later had extinguished it,” Kelley said.
That’s when the fire department began investigating the cause of the blaze, Kelley said.
“We began with the laundry level. There was heavy fire damage to that room,” Kelley said. “The room above it was the parlor room on street level, and it had moderate fire damage.”
The rest of the building had smoke damage, Kelley said, but very little water or fire damage. The investigation isn’t complete, Kelley said, but it’s likely the fire started in the laundry room.
“There was probably a lint fire in the dryer that extended out from the dryer to the rest of the room,” Kelley said.
The structure was saved, he said, because of its quick-thinking owners and a working smoke detector.
“It’s one of those things that people should thank goodness they had working smoke detectors in there,” Kelley said. “It alerted them early enough to get us down there to stop the fire before it got along.”
Kelley encouraged everyone to make sure their smoke detectors are in good condition, saying this fire is a reminder of how important that is.
“Keep those detectors in operation and replace them when they get old and change the batteries in them,” Kelley said.