At 3:30 am Saturday morning the Prescott Regional Communication Center received a report of a structure fire in the 600 block of Copper Basin Road. Three Prescott Fire Department and one Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority engines responded to the scene. The first arriving engine was directed by the homeowner to a fire in the crawlspace. Firefighters were able to make access through a scuttle hole and knocked down the majority of the fire using a fire extinguisher. They then used a larger hose line to completely extinguish any lingering heat. Damage to the home was minimal as the fire did not extend beyond the crawlspace. Three visitors from California who were using the homeowner’s house as a vacation rental for the weekend were displaced. Prescott Firefighter’s Charities, a 501(c)3 organization that provides support and assistance to the families of public safety and the community during emergencies, provided a hotel room for the visitors for the remainder of the weekend.
The initial investigation suggests that electrical heat tape used to keep water lines from freezing under the home may have ignited adjacent insulation. The event serves as a reminder for residents to thoroughly inspect and prepare their homes for the coming cold weather. Please have furnaces inspected to ensure units are in working order and have not become homes to rodents over the long summer. Change out air filters to reduce strain on the units. Have chimneys for fireplaces and woodstoves cleaned to remove soot buildup. If using electrical heating units, ensure that the devices are clear of any flammable materials. Most importantly, verify that smoke detectors and alarms in the home are in working order and have fresh batteries.