Canfield house fire declared accidental

Staff report


A fire that destroyed a $1 million home on Montereale Drive last week was declared accidental.

Cardinal Joint Fire District Chief Don Hutchison said after reviewing security footage, the fire that began about 3 a.m. Jan. 2 originated in the northwest wall of the home’s garage, according to the statement.

The Winchester family fled its home at first sight of fire, and began walking down the street when the first fire engine arrived, Hutchison said.

“People called 911 when they started hearing the explosions of tires blowing up,” Hutchison said. “Nobody was awake to call us when it started.”

The statement said the fire was burning for 17 minutes before the fire district was informed, and 13 minutes before smoke alarms were set off.

The garage and second floor were ablaze when the first fire engine arrived early Jan. 2. The roof caved in, keeping the flames in the home’s basement, out of fire crews’ reach.

Wind chill was at 10 below, with wind speeds at 14 miles per hour, making the flames spread faster the morning of the fire, the statement said. Fire crews extinguished the flames the afternoon of Jan. 2.

Boardman and Austintown fire departments responded to the scene as well.

“Home smoke alarms are credited with alerting the family to the greatly advanced fire, which enabled them to safely escape the home,” Hutchison said in the statement.

Firefighters couldn’t find a smoke detector in the garage, but Hutchison said a smoke or heat detector may be in a garage, depending on what type of alarm system a home has.

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