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Fire destroys duplex: Firefighters at scene for almost 6 hours Wednesday

The ruins of a duplex are all that remain Thursday at 607 4th Ave. NW. The Jamestown Fire Department responded to a fire there at 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, and fought the blaze for almost 6 hours. Tom LaVenture / The Sun

Ellen Anderson and her boyfriend Pete Sehr were dressed for the cold when they watched the home they rented burn Wednesday evening.

“We were out on the lake ice fishing when we got a call our house was on fire,” Anderson said. “We got back into town to watch it burn.”

The Jamestown Fire Department responded to a report of a house on fire at 607 4th Ave. NW at 7:20 p.m. Wednesday. The department responded with 27 firefighters and six units that were on the scene for almost six hours, until 1:15 a.m. Thursday. The building was a duplex with one vacant unit.

Sheldon Mohr, training officer of the Jamestown Fire Department, said conditions were “cold and miserable” for firefighters during the fire. The temperature was 6 below zero with a wind chill of 31 below zero and there was light snow.

“You have to be mindful in those conditions,” he said. “Watch the people. It’s a little harder, a little more work in the cold.”

Mohr said there were no injuries in the fire. The building was a total loss.

“We have our warm clothes for the winter,” Anderson said, referring to the clothing they were wearing while ice fishing. “That’s about all.”

Anderson and Sehr were assisted by the American Red Cross.

There have been two house fires this week in Jamestown. Even though the causes have not been determined, people should use extra caution during the extreme cold weather, Mohr said.

“Make sure the smoke detector has batteries,” he said. “Take care with space heaters. Follow instructions with anything that is used for supplemental heat.”

Anderson said she and Sehr had been away from the home for more than four hours when the fire was first reported.

“It’s crappy,” she said, “but getting worked up about it doesn’t change anything.”