Downtown Waverly was filled with the smell of smoke as fire crews battled a house fire tonight.
The Waverly Fire Department received the call to 121 East Tremont, just north of the public square, at around 6:45 p.m. Only smoke was visible at first.
Waverly Fire Chief Glen Brown says the blaze was electrical in origin. He says the fire started on the back part of the house.
“We never saw flames except on the wall on the side over here. No flames until we opened it up. Smoke filled the upper level,” says Brown. “It was smoke-filled and very hot when we got in there.”
The house was vacant; it was being remodeled by Brian Boggs of Waverly, who seemed perplexed on how the fire could have happened.
“I don’t know. We were in there working on it today, and went home, and…”
He says there was no indication of a problem.
“No. We’ve been working on it for a year and a half.”
Boggs says it was an older house, “but we’ve totally gutted the whole upstairs. Everything upstairs is brand news: wiring, tub, fixtures. We added a bathroom to it. We had it all the way down to studs,” he says.
Brown says the fire isn’t suspicious.
Firefighters did eventually open the roof, and there were still hot spots being put out almost two hours after they initially arrived. In addition to fire damage on the second floor, there was smoke and water damage to the entire house.
Brown estimates about $50,000 to $60,000 of damage was done. Boggs says the house was insured.
The 911 call was made by Mayor Scott Duewer, who lived on the street behind the house.
The Franklin Fire Department assisted.
This is the second vacant house to be destroyed by fire in Waverly in less than two weeks.