Upon arrival the Shift Commander assumed command and reported heavy smoke pushing from the northeast side of the fire and heavy fire pushing on the northwest side of the building. The temperature was 7 degrees with a wind chill of -6 degrees at the time of the fire. The fire was being wind driven with winds from the northwest at 10 mph.
Command ordered the first arriving engine company to deploy an aggressive interior attack with a preconnect hose line from the unburned side of the structure. When the companies made entry into the house they were pushed back out of the building by the conditions inside. On scene companies and off duty companies set up an exterior defensive attach which brought the fire under control and eventually extinguished the blaze.
All three of the occupants were sleeping at the time of the fire starting. The 58 year old male resident of the house reported he was awaken by the activated smoke detector. He opened his bedroom door and was met by heavy smoke in the kitchen area. He crawled to the other two bedrooms and woke the other two occupants. All three of the occupant self-rescued themselves prior to the arrival of the fire
Approximately two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Since most fatal fires occur at night, it’s essential that every home has working smoke alarms to provide an early warning. Working smoke alarms increase the chance of surviving a home fire by 50 percent.
The Merrill fire Department advises you to check your battery and detector today, it might save your life tonight.