Pet dog perishes, firefighter hurt in blaze

Published Jul 13, 2018 at 12:00pm

A pet dog was killed and a city firefighter suffered a minor leg injury during a stubborn house fire on Shakes Road in the outer district Thursday afternoon.

Two people have been displaced from 5266 Shakes Road and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

“The entire back of the house was on fire,” explained Deputy Fire Chief Timothy W. Reilly. Shakes Road is a rural dead-end that branches off Seifert Road, south of Route 46.

“The first arriving crews made an attack on that, they made entry through the front door in an attempt to knock it down.”

Resident Cody Teesdale and a female companion were not at home at the time of the fire, but Reilly said a pet dog was still inside and perished in the fire. Reilly said heavy smoke was spotted some distance away on Route 46 by a passerby, who called 9-1-1 at about 3:42 p.m.

The chief said the firefighters were able to stay inside the home fighting the blaze and had it knocked down in about 40 minutes.

“The fire went everywhere in the house,” Reilly stated. The two-story residence is a total loss.

“They built a roof on top of a roof, and there was a really small space up there that really fought us.”

Reilly said they also struggled with the heat, with temperatures peaking at 84-degrees on Thursday at the time of the fire.

Normally, the fire department calls back eight extra firefighters to cover the rest of the city while the on-duty crew handles a structure fire.

Reilly said they needed to call back twice that amount so that the firefighters could be rotated in and out in the heat.

“It’s very fatiguing on the guys,” Reilly said. “With all the gear that they wear, and all the hard work that they do fighting the fire inside.”

The Durhamville Volunteer Fire Department assisted at the scene with a cool down trailer, with other volunteers handing out water bottles to the firefighters. The New London and Vienna departments were also called to help out to tanker water to the scene, since there were no nearby fire hydrants.

One firefighter suffered a minor leg injury during the firefight, officials said. The firefighter was using a pike pole to pull down part of the outside wall where the roof meets the siding when he tripped on some decorative stones, Reilly said. The firefighter was not hospitalized, but he was taken out of the fight.

The department did not release his name.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Reilly said. The fire is believed to have started at the rear of the residence. The chief said he did not know if the property was insured.

According to city records, the property is owned by Richard S. Teesdale, of Rome.