Millennium blaze leaves four homeless

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 2, 2005

MILLENNIUM – A fire that broke out here early Thursday afternoon has left four residents homeless.

According to Phil Terry, Deputy Chief of Millennium Fire Department, some neighbors from across the street saw smoke coming from the Patricia Sadler’s residence and contacted 9-1-1.

&uot;We weren’t sure if anyone was in the home,&uot; he said, noting that when his department first arrived on the scene, smoke was coming out of the front of the house.

&uot;The flames weren’t coming out of the roof when we arrived, but we requested mutual aid from St. John and Aulander and sprayed water in through the window to keep the fire from spreading,&uot; he said, using the help of bystanders to pull the fire hoses until support from the other departments arrived allowing them to get a team together to physically go into the home with their air packs and target the hot spots.

Terry stated that the homeowner, Patricia Sadler, and the three other residents, including her son, were not in the home when the fire broke out.

&uot;She had some animals in the house, two of which we couldn’t find, but we were able to get all of the others out safely, &uot; he said.

During the course of the investigation, Terry stated spoke with Sadler’s son, and learned that he had left an old electric blanket on for his mother’s cats to lay on to get warm.

&uot;The fire definitely started on the bed,&uot; he said, pointing to what was left of the mattress.

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the one room, sparing the rest of the house with the exception of smoke damage.

&uot;The fire didn’t burn outside the walls of the front bedroom,&uot; he said.

Though Sadler did have insurance, Terry estimated the damage to be between $10,000 and $15,000.

&uot;The damage sustained should be able to undergo repair, they just have to have an adjustor assess it,&uot; he said.

Terry cautioned against plugging too many devices into electric outlets so as not to overload the circuits and said, &uot;People shouldn’t leave electric stuff running unattended. Extension cords don’t have built in breakers like those that exist in surge protectors.&uot;

Terry recommended homeowners/renters not leave small drop cords hooked up all the time.

&uot;Cheap extension cords just don’t cut it and plugging them into one another is a fire hazard waiting to happen,&uot; he said.

Terry extended thanks to the nearby residents and passers by that helped as well as the neighboring fire departments.

&uot;In the daytime it’s hard to get a crew together, but when the different departments cooperate it makes it easier for us to accomplish the goal we all share, which is saving lives. That’s what it’s all about,&uot; he said. &uot;Working together makes the county a better place.&uot;

Acknowledging a reliance on divine providence, Terry added, &uot;I thank God no one was hurt and even though the general public doesn’t see the amount of training we have to go through to keep the fire department operating effectively, I hope they can rest in knowing we are doing everything we can to ensure their safety.&uot;