At 3:21am Tuesday Jan 26th, the Clinton Fire Department was dispatched to 211 North Carter Street for a reported residential structure fire. The on-duty crew of 4 personnel responded in 2 apparatus, arriving on the scene to find the residence fully engulfed in fire. The fire had been burning for an extended amount of time before fire crews were notified, as approximately ¾ of the home had already been consumed by the fire. A defensive fire attack was initiated due to the extent and severity of the fire. The fire was brought under control after approximately 30 minutes of firefighting operations.
Fire crews were able to confirm that there were no persons inside the home. The sole occupant, Mr. Roger Buxton, was able to escape from the home during the fire. Buxton stated he was asleep in the basement when he was awakened by debris from the blaze falling into the basement bedroom he was in. He exited the structure through a basement door and upon exiting the home dialed 911. Mr. Buxton was evaluated for injuries by Golden Valley Memorial Hospital Ambulance personnel and reported to be unharmed. There were no working smoke detectors in the home.
An investigation into the cause of the fire was conducted by CFD Fire Investigators Fire Chief Mark Manuel and Deputy Fire Chief Matt Willings. Extensive fire damage to the structure prevented a thorough investigation. Investigators concluded, after interviewing Mr. Buxton, that a wood fireplace located in the basement of the home was the likely cause of the fire. There were no working utilities at the home. The fire was believed to have started as a result of an improperly installed woodstove flue pipe.
The home suffered extensive fire damage and was deemed a total loss. Clinton Fire crews were on scene for approximately 3 hours. Assisting agencies included the Clinton Police Department, Golden Valley Hospital Ambulance, and the American Red Cross.