The Paris Volunteer Fire Department was busy last week, especially on Tuesday when firemen were called out twice.
“It’s unusual to be called out twice in one day,” Paris Volunteer Fire Department Chief John Wells said.
Firemen were also called to a fire last Thursday, Wells said.
The first alarm issued on Tuesday, April 9 came at noon. Firemen were called to the Logan County Courthouse after someone reported smelling smoke on the building’s third floor.
“There was a fluorescent light on the southwest side of the building and the ballast in the light went out producing the smell of smoke,” Wells said. “We got there quickly. We determined that was the cause but we also checked the building’s attic and used a smoke-detecting machine to make sure that was the only place smoked could be detected.”
The worst fire last week took place around 9:30 p.m. the same day. Firemen were called to a two-story wood home at 21 South Roseville Street, across the street from St. Joseph Catholic Church. The home was unoccupied at the time, according to Wells.
When firemen arrived, dark smoke was billowing out the windows. Wells said that because of the direction of the wind at the time, firemen couldn’t get close to the structure without wearing air packs.
“At the time, the fire was inside the home,” Wells said. “The fire hadn’t vented to the outside yet. The fire apparently started in the basement near a hot water heater.”
Wells said he sent several firemen into the building in what he described as a risky move.
“That’s risky with any type of fire,” he said.
Wells said the fire was brought under control after about 40 minutes, but firemen stayed longer.
“We were there two and a half hours mopping up and making sure it didn’t rekindle,” Wells said.
But the trouble wasn’t over for the fire department. A bolt broke in a fire truck’s rear end and it had to be towed from the scene, Wells said. He added that fireman Steve Wooten made a bolt and the 1963-model fire truck is operational.
Firemen were again called out around 3 a.m. on Thursday, April 11. They were called to a mobile home park on East Academy Street. A crockpot inside a mobile home had caught fire. Wells said firemen put out the fire immediately.