The Fremont Fire Department responded to a fire at a duplex in south Fremont Sunday afternoon.
The fire is the third in Fremont this week, as FFD responded to a camper fire at 145 S. Somers Ave. Thursday afternoon and a fatal apartment fire at 350 N. Main St. Saturday morning.
The department received a call around 3:45 p.m. on Sunday of a fire on one side of a duplex at 246 North Drive. After an explosion, the patio doors were blown out of their frame, Capt. Jamie Meyer said.
“When we got there, fire was coming out of what would have been the patio doors on the west side of the house,” he said. “And it was already coming out of the roof through the gable end on the south and the front end of that duplex.”
Firefighters were able to get the fire under control quickly in about 45 minutes and nobody was injured, Meyer said.
“They went in through where the doors had blown off and I think probably within 10, 15 minutes, they had the bulk of the fire knocked down,” he said. “The crews went on the top end of the roof and finished putting the rest of the fire out to the front of the house.”
Meyer said the man renting the side of the duplex that caught fire had others staying with him temporarily, but none were home at the time of the fire. One resident saw the fire after walking home from a nearby Casey’s.
The resident on the other side of the duplex was home, Meyer said.
“She said that she heard a big bang, an explosion of some sort, and it also knocked over a small bookcase in her bedroom closet,” he said. “She was picking it up when somebody banged on her door saying that the house was on fire.”
The duplex’s roof was heavily damaged by the fire, and Meyer said he estimates the total damage cost to be $50,000 to $60,000, if not more.
“I would say 50% of one side was completely destroyed by the fire and needs to be completely gutted,” he said. “And the rest of it had heavy heat and smoke damage.”
The other side of the duplex also had some smoke and water damage, Meyer said.
Meyer said a state fire marshal deemed the fire as accidental after an investigation and said it was not intentionally started.
“What caused it, we never did get a clear answer or find anything that was definite,” he said. “So it really remains undetermined at this time as the cause.”
But Meyer said he suspects a butane container found inside the apartment to be a possible source of the fire.
“There was a larger can of that, and we think that when the fire got hot enough, that blew up, and that’s what caused the doors to blow off the frame,” he said. “There was some other flammable stuff inside the place also, and that just attributed to the more rapid fire growth.”
With the other fires taking place so close together, Meyer said he didn’t believe there was a connection. He confirmed that one of the residents who was taken to the hospital after Saturday’s apartment fire downtown has died, while the firefighter will recover.
“I do not suspect there’s anything linking them,” Meyer said. “It’s just all coincidental that they happened in such a short time.”
Meyer urged people to take caution with items in their house that could unintentionally cause a fire.
“Candles, smoking, whatever they may be doing,” he said, “just be careful.”
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