• BEST IN STATE—Senior Courtney Schoen Lewis was named Best PR Student in Utah. Story

Early morning Wellsville fire forces tenants to evacuate

March 13th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Storee Powell

WELLSVILLE – An apartment fire forced renters to evacuate at 6 a.m. Sunday after the chimney on a pellet stove started smoldering.

All the occupants were safely evacuated from the apartments attached to the White Buffalo outdoor goods store at 39 E. Main Street. However, as of 7 a.m., three cats belonging to a resident who was at work remained trapped in the locked apartment, according to tenant Billy Oberding.

“It started in my neighbor Bryce’s apartment,” Oberding said. “I woke up smelling smoke and I immediately went down and knocked on my neighbor’s door. and he said the stove is burning and the insulation is on fire, so we got our pets out and my daughter.”

The other neighbor was not home yet, as he was at work as a nurse in Logan. His three cats were still inside. “I don’t have a key to the apartment, but I thought about breaking the door down to get them out,” Oberding said.

Emergency responders were still working at 7:30 to find the starting place of the fire, said Mendon Fire Chief Ray Olsen.

“At this point it is mostly smoke from a smoldering multi-apartment dwelling fire, on the first and second floors,” Olsen said. “We don’t know exactly where the fire is, we are coming at it from the top and bottom; we have a crew in the basement and a crew on the roof.”

Fifteen emergency vehicles, including two hook-and-ladder trucks, responded to the fire from the cities of Mendon, Logan and Wellsville.

Karen Johnson, EMS responder, said her parents live next door to the White Buffalo store, and she couldn’t believe they slept through the noise. Johnson’s grandfather used to own the White Buffalo, which was affected by the smoke, she said.

The damage at this point is unknown, and the renters do not know if they will be covered by the landlord’s insurance. Oberding said he pays $15 extra a month for renter’s insurance, but Bryce does not have renter’s insurance. They both said they were not sure where they would stay while the damage was assessed and remedied.

“I was wondering why I paid that $15 extra a month, but now I am glad I did,” Oberding said.


Tags: , ,

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.