May 18, 2024
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By DAILY PROGRESS

In the Lake Monticello area of Fluvanna County, two fires started within six hours each of one another on Monday. Two homes were severely damaged and a family was displaced.

Richie Constantino, the Fire Chief of Fluvanna County said Tuesday that “fortunately no injuries were sustained in either incident”.

Axle tree Road was the scene of a fire that started at 8:35 am on Monday.

The homeowner reported hearing a ‘popping sound’ through his window. “He then noticed a bright red glow coming through his kitchen window and realized that a polyethylene temporary greenhouse protecting a tree on the deck was on fire,” Constantino said.

According to Constantino, the fire started in the greenhouse and spread quickly, first burning the deck, then siding, and finally the attic.

Fire departments from Lake Monticello and Palmyra were dispatched to the scene.

Constantino reported that it took crews less than four minutes to reach the home, where the homeowner was battling the fire with a hose.

Constantino stated that “Firefighters extinguished quickly the fire and made sure it didn’t spread. They then used a powerful fan to clear the smoke from the living areas and attic of the house.”

The family could reoccupy the home once the fires had been extinguished.

The Lake Monticello Fire Department has determined that the fire was accidental.

A second fire near 2 miles from the original fire, in the 800-block of Jefferson Drive was also reported within a few hours.

Constantino stated that crews were at the house within 2 minutes.

He reported that the firefighters used multiple hoses to attack the fire and, after some time, they had knocked the main fire down. The hidden fire in the attic of the house was discovered by firefighters as they tried to extinguish the fire.

Constantino explained that a tower ladder had been used to spray large streams of water through windows on the second floor and the eaves, which eventually put out all the visible flames. The firefighters were able to enter the house again and extinguish all visible flames.

The family at the Jefferson Drive home was unable to return to their residence due to extensive damage.

Red Cross placed this family temporarily in housing.

Constantino stated that the cause of this second fire was still being investigated.

Investigators could not complete their investigation on Monday due to the darkness, instability of structure and safety concerns. The investigators returned Tuesday to finish their investigation.

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