Fire threat worsened by dry conditions

Posted on: 3:56 pm, July 9, 2012, by , updated on: 04:15pm, July 9, 2012

Families are picking up the pieces across the area after a rash of fires broke out this weekend, three of which happened in Davenport.

One, on Telegraph Road, was caused by an electrical issue and another, on Valley Drive, was caused by an improperly discarded cigarette.

The most recent fire, which occurred on Sunday, was on Tremont Avenue.

Fire crews don’t know the exact cause of the fire there, but they do know it started outside the home, lit a fence on fire and then spread to the house and one next door.

“We were sitting right here on the couch and the fire was 20 feet away,” said Alex Thielen, who sprang into action.

“I noticed that the house was on fire, so had I not let the dogs out, I might not have seen it right away,” he said.

He showed us around the home, which he, his pregnant wife and their infant son had only been in for a week.

“Fire broke out in here after it caught the door on fire, spread to the ceiling and then, like a wildfire, just everything was engulfed.”

No one was injured, but all that remains now is smoke damaged furniture, clothes and toys.

There’s also soot and a lot of it.

“Just covered in filth and it goes all the way upstairs and to the basement.  Because it’s so dry outside, everything just went up.”

According to the Davenport Fire Department, the dry conditions are, in part, to blame for the three fires in Davenport this past weekend, including the fire on Tremont.

In Princeton, Illinois a fire at an apartment complex displaced 30 apartment dwellers, who are receiving help from the Red Cross.

“We’re just hearing the same thing from each family, which is, what will we do,” said Casey Kelly, with the Red Cross. “How will we get through the next days?”

The Thielen family is also receiving assistance.

But, they have something some renters don’t have.

“Thank God for renter’s insurance because it was a pain in the butt to get all this stuff moved here and now it’s all going to have to be moved back out.”

The dryness is a factor in these fires and the heat is as well because that can be a challenge for fire crews fighting the fires.

There were no cases of heat exhaustion in any of these fires, according to the Davenport Fire Department.

Check our list of communities that have banned open burning – click here.

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