At 10:53 p.m. on April 4, Gainesville Fire Rescue (GFR), with automatic aid from Alachua County Fire Rescue, responded to a residential house fire at 18 NW 35th Terr. Crews from GFR’s station 4, under the direction of Lt. Jody Markwich, were on scene within three minutes and found heavy smoke and fire from the garage. E4’s crew began an interior fire attack as crews from GFR’s Quint-9 conducted a primary search of the building to confirm all occupants were out of the home and disconnected gas and electricity to the building. District Chief Cary Williams, who was in charge of the fire attack, said the fire was out by 11:11 p.m.
Incident Commander Don Campbell, a District Chief with GFR, said the fire was challenging because there were multiple large calls going on in the City simultaneously that required Incident Commanders to balance resources and reposition units to maintain coverage for the rest of the City. According to Interim Deputy Fire Chief, Joseph Hillhouse, GFR answers roughly 20,000 requests for service with 23,000 unit responses per year, 5,200 of which are for fires.
No one was injured in the fire, but three adults and three children were displaced and are being assisted by the Red Cross. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. GFR would like to remind our neighbors never to leave candles unattended. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), candles caused 2% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 4% of the direct property damage in home fires. Roughly one-third (37%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 40% of the associated deaths and 49% of the associated injuries.