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Improperly discarded wood chips ruled cause of early morning condo building fire

Occupants of all 20 units escape unharmed

Post Date:07/19/2016 10:13 AM

North Petway St. condo fireFranklin, TN – Improperly discarded wood chips from an outdoor smoker are the cause of an early morning condominium building fire, according to Franklin Fire Deputy Chief Todd Horton.

The Franklin Fire Department was dispatched to the two-story, 20-unit building on North Petway Street at 2:17 a.m. They arrived to find heavy fire on a second floor balcony and residents evacuating.

Horton said after preparing chicken in a smoker on his balcony, a resident discarded wood chips and embers from the smoker in an adjacent potted plant around midnight, which later ignited nearby combustibles.

The resident was awakened by his dog approximately two hours later and discovered the fire.  He attempted to extinguish it with water from an inside sink and was unsuccessful.  Remembering there was a fire extinguisher mounted on the building’s exterior, he retrieved it and used it on the fire, but it ran out before the blaze was extinguished.  The man then called 911 and began knocking on doors to alert his neighbors.

Horton said that one person was treated and released on the scene for smoke inhalation.  No one else was hurt.  He added, “Always call 911 first, then attempt to extinguish a fire if it’s safe to do so.”

The fire damaged two units, causing an estimated $150,000 in damage to the building, which is valued at $800,000.  It was not equipped with automatic fire sprinklers or an automatic fire alarm system.

The fire code prohibits the use of almost all grills and similar devices on balconies and decks of multifamily dwellings.  If you have questions about your residence contact your property manager or fire department for guidance.

The Williamson County Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting those in need. 

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