Kenai Fire extinguishes shed, talks safety

Members of the Kenai Fire Department responded to a small structure fire Sunday night just off of Bridge Access Road.

Five firefighters were called out to the 8-by-16-foot shed that was being constructed into living quarters at 9:39 p.m. on Sunday, said Kenai Fire Captain John Harris. Additional support from Kenai Fire and the Nikiski Fire Department started to respond, but Harris said they were not needed as the shed had already burned to the ground.

No one was in the shed when it caught fire.

“There was a young gentleman that was working on it,” Harris said. “He wasn’t staying in it, he was heating it with a wood stove and that’s what appears to have caused it (the fire).”

The structure was close to the surrounding woods, but there was no chance of it causing a larger fire, Harris said.

“…With the wet snow last night, and then also we were on it fast enough where it didn’t have time to catch any of the trees on fire,” he said.

Other than some tools the shed’s owner reported as being inside the structure, nothing else was lost in the fire, Harris said.

Harris said the winter months mark a time when fires happen more frequently. Since more people are using traditional and alternative heat sources more often during winter, it is also a time to take preventative steps against the dangers of carbon monoxide, he said.

“One thing that is kind of not covered as extensively as we’d like is carbon monoxide,” Harris said. “Any source of combustion can potentially be (a source) of carbon monoxide.”

The gas is released when carbon-based fuels don’t burn completely. From malfunctioning appliances to starting a car in the morning to let it warm up, Harris said residents should be aware of things that can cause an excess of carbon monoxide in their homes.

The gas is especially dangerous since it has no odor, Harris said. He said it is often confused with carbon dioxide and that firefighters are more than happy to explain its differences and dangers for those who are unsure.

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