Election night 2018 became a busy one for Nevada Fire and other area fire departments and emergency responders.
On Nov. 6, the voting precincts weren’t even closed yet in town when Nevada Fire was first called out at 6:30 to a house fire at the Isaac and Wendy Stanley home at 804 Fifth St., in Nevada.
A relative of the Stanley family was the only one home at the time and was grilling when the worst possible scenario happened. Flames from the grill hit the wall of the garage and by the time fire units from Nevada arrived on the scene — within two minutes of the fire being called in — the home’s attached two-stall garage was engulfed with fire that was spreading through the house’s attic and into the entryway from the garage.
The individual made it out safely. The family pet, a little rat terrier dog, did not.
According to a press release from the Nevada Public Safety Department, firefighters from both Colo and Nevada tried to search for the pet but were unable to locate the dog at first. Eventually located, firefighters and paramedics provided oxygen and other resuscitation efforts to the dog, but sadly, the dog died from smoke inhalation.
Responding agencies to the house, a structure that Nevada Public Safety Director Ric Martinez said was “significantly damaged and uninhabitable” following the fire, included Nevada Public Safety (fire, EMS and police), Colo Fire, Story County Medical Center paramedics, Story County Sheriff’s Office and American Red Cross.
Nevada Fire reported that the initial fire attack was conducted through the garage doors on the south side of the house. Then, additional handlines were extended to the other side of the house.
Since grilling is a common practice for many individuals, Martinez said this tragedy can be a teachable moment. He said grills should always be outside of a structure, not inside it or partially inside it. “It should be watched the entire time grilling is taking place,” he said. “The key is monitoring.”
Fire agencies and other responders were still on the scene of the house fire when another fire call came in, for a structure fire northwest of Nevada at the Paul Meyer residence on 600th Avenue.
“It is always challenging to have to address more than one fire at a time,” Martinez said.
When the second fire came in, it was the Colo Fire Department, having just left the house fire scene in Nevada, that responded before Nevada could to the fire at the Meyer residence. Colo was joined in that fire response by firefighters from Gilbert, Roland and Nevada, Martinez said.
That fire caused extensive damage to two structures: a wood frame storage machine shed and a corn crib.
Martinez was proud of the response of the entire Nevada Public Safety Department to both incidents and especially proud of the two-minute response time to the house fire in Nevada.
“Volunteers stepping up to serve the community and sacrificing their family time and hard work for our citizens,” he said, is always commendable.
Martinez also speaks highly of the assistance area fire departments provide to one another. “We normally deal with one incident at a time, but when necessary, we can redistribute resources as needed and call upon other agencies for assistance.”
Residents of Nevada quickly mobilized to help by using social media to start collections of clothes, funds and other items for the family, which also includes the Stanley’s 10-year-old daughter Serenity. On Nov. 8, it was reported that the family had received enough physical items for now, although monetary collections are ongoing. To find out more about these efforts, a page, “The Stanley Family,” has been created on Facebook.