Jacksonville Fire Department had difficulty suppressing a fire in rural Jacksonville early this morning. At approximately 4:25 this morning, the family was called to 2120 Strawn Crossing Road. A ranch-style home was found fully involved on the west end of the home. The tenant of the home, Justin Mattes, attempted to slow the fire with a garden hose and a dry chemical extinguisher prior to arrival, according to the fire department report.
Jacksonville Fire Captain Matt Summers said they initially ran a line to the home and made entry and began spraying the home into the ceiling. Summers said that the West wind was driving the fire into the attic and a steel roof was holding heat, smoke and fire inside. Summer says that he eventually had to pull firefighters outside to continue suppression efforts: “We’re pushed outside at one point because of the high winds and the ceiling in a few places was starting to collapse. [The] kitchen [was] kind of in the middle of the house [with] the rafters burned away in the kitchen. [The] roof and ceiling collapsed while we were backing out or outside. [We] stayed outside as safety measures to protect our men for awhile and attacked as best we could from the outside. The guys did a great job. Our driver engineer did a great job keeping the lines charged and water flowing the entire time. South Jacksonville was there on mutual aide and had several guys helping us out in a tanker as well, assisting with the shuttling along with our two tankers. [We had] all of the guys on our crew plus a couple call in guys that came in on the second alarm and we just continued to attack the fire and maid entry again from the backside and from the front-side and pulled the ceiling until we could open up the entire pretty much the entire ceiling throughout the structure and extinguish the fire.”
Summers says overall it took approximately 45 minutes to fully suppress the fire. No one was injured and all occupants of the home were able to get out due to smoke alarms. Mattes told firefighters that he believed the fire may have started due to a heat lamp for a small poultry pen he had near the home outside catching an outside deck on fire that was connected to the structure. The estimated damage from the blaze was placed around $98,000.