George, Iowa — “It would have been a lot worse if no one had been home.” That from George Fire Chief Bill Sprock. He’s talking about a fire call early on Thursday, May 26, 2016 in George.
He says about three minutes after midnight, the George Fire Department was called to the report of a fire in the breezeway at the home of Robert Gruis at 609 East Iowa Street in George.
The chief says the fire department arrived to find the house filled with smoke. He says there were no visible flames so they used a thermal imaging camera to find the cause of the smoke. He says they found it behind the mantle of a gas fireplace. The chief says they believe that a lightning strike came up the electrical line following conduit. He says an extension cord had been on the conduit and it ignited and shorted out.
He says they did remove some wall that was burned and charred, and searched for other possible hot spots. He says they used a positive pressure fan to ventilate the smoke.
Sprock says there were no reports of injury.
Chief Sprock reports that there was minimal smoke damage.
He says they didn’t use any water, and crews were on scene until about 2:00 AM.