GREENFIELD — Firefighters from Greenfield Fire Department responded to a residential structure fire on the 1000 block of Maple Avenue last Wednesday afternoon.
According to Fire Chief Jim Langborg, 13 residents were displaced from the burning structure, which was a duplex.
“Fortunately, the Red Cross stepped up and helped provide temporary assistance for those families,” Langborg said.
Emergency responders from Greenfield Police Department, Monterey County Ambulance, Soledad CalFire, South Monterey County Fire Protection District and Salinas Valley State Prison assisted the local firefighters.
Crews knocked down the exterior fire, which had also spread into the structure and the building’s attic. Emergency units were able to contain the fire to the exposed unit.
“It looked as though it was a fire that started on the exterior,” Langborg said. “We do not know the exact cause of it. We’re suspecting that it was either some burning trash that somehow caught on fire, or some speculation that some people were cooking. We haven’t been able to determine 100%.”
He said the incident was a good reminder for people to pay attention anytime they are interacting with fire.
“If you are cooking or smoking or anything like that … make sure that embers or things like that don’t ignite garbage or anything that’s in the vicinity,” Langborg said. “It’s very easy for a fire on the outside of the house to turn into a fire on the inside of the house.”
With the Nov. 11 fire being such an outside-to-inside incident, Langborg said it was fortunate the responding crews were aggressive in response and took care of the fire before it spread further.
In addition, Langborg reminded residents to check their smoke detectors to ensure they are working and to stay proactive.
“Now that it’s getting colder, make sure you don’t have any ignitable items beside your heaters, whether it’s a space heater, a floor heater, anything like that, make sure you’ve got at least 2 feet of clearance around a heater,” he said.
The fire was still under investigation at press time, and anyone with information is encouraged to call Greenfield Police at 831-674-5111.