Quick response limits fire damage

Published 9:29 am Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Quick response time is being credited for limiting the damage of two structure fires last week in Niles.

On Friday morning, the Niles Fire Department responded to a fire in the 500 block of Hickory Street.

Chief Larry Lamb said firefighters were able to isolate the fire in the attic area.

“It appeared that the fire originated in the cellulose insulation in the attic sparked by a failure, fault or overload of the electrical wiring in the attic,” Lamb said. “Effected insulation was removed by fire crews and the circuit in question was removed from service.”

The fire was the second the department had responded to within a week relating to electrical issues, according to Lamb.

Earlier last week, crews responded to a fire in the 900 block of N. 4th St. that turned out to be a smoldering fire inside a wall, originating as a result of the use of a space heater inside the home.

“The home’s wiring was original ‘knob and tube’ that was unable to deliver the current being requested,” Lamb said. “In both cases quick responses from first responders were able to greatly limit damage, keeping both families in their homes. But it is a reminder of the issues that can come from excessive space heater use in older homes.”

The Niles Fire Department was assisted by the Niles Township Fire Department and the Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service.