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Montereale fire investigation concluded

January 18, 2018
The Town Crier

The cause of the early morning fire on Jan. 2, which destroyed a 6600 square foot home on Montereale Drive in Canfield, has been ruled accidental according to Cardinal Joint Fire District Chief Donald Hutchison, who said "based on video footage, investigators determined that the fire originated in the northwest wall of the over $1 million home's garage, where numerous ignition sources were identified, but could not be readily ruled out because of the deterioration."

The first arriving fire engine observed a fully-involved structure fire, with the garage and second floor engulfed in flames. The fire was in progress for 17 minutes before the Fire District was notified and 13 minutes before the smoke made it to the living areas to activate the home smoke alarms alerting the family.

Automatic mutual aid was called in from Boardman and Austintown fire departments, with crews rotating in and out over the course of the next 13 hours. Weather conditions at the time were seven degrees with the wind chill at minus 10 degrees and winds at 14 mph, which caused the flames to spread quickly and contributed to the damages.

"Home smoke alarms are credited with alerting the family to the greatly advanced fire, which enabled them to safely escape the home," according to Chief Hutchison, who emphasized the need for heat or smoke detectors in attached garages.



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