By Cole Short, Hillsboro Banner
A quick response from the Hillsboro Fire Department may have saved a home from burning to the ground Monday in Hillsboro.
Brad Nelson said the chimney fire that started around 6:30 p.m. Monday in his home along Sixth Street Northeast would have spread swiftly to the interior of his house had the blaze not been contained.
“Another five minutes and our house probably would have been gone,” Nelson said.
“We’re so appreciative to all the firefighters who dropped what they had going on in their lives and basically came to save our house.”
Nelson’s wife, Aubree, was in the middle of discussing how much she liked their home and living in Hillsboro when the couple smelled smoke.
Nelson cracked a window and inspected the family’s wood-burning fireplace and chimney, which appeared to have multiple orange and red spots on it.
“I had never seen those before, so I peeked my head outside and saw smoke coming from the side of the chimney instead of the top,” Nelson said.
The MayPort-CG middle school teacher attempted to battle the blaze with a fire extinguisher before calling 911 and reporting the fire.
Firefighters told Nelson that he was fortunate the fire didn’t penetrate the inside walls of the house and remained contained to the home’s exterior.
“Our house is tongue-and-groove pine and if that had caught fire inside it could have been really bad,” Nelson said.
The single-story home’s interior suffered smoke and water damage but a fire remediation service will be on site Monday and a contractor has been lined up to begin making the home habitable.
The family moved in with Nelson’s parents in Hillsboro after being displaced by the fire.
Nelson said the family has received an overwhelming response from community members asking how they can help until the couple and their 1.5-year-old and 2.5-year-old children return to their home.
“We really want to thank all the people who reached out to us and showed their love and support to us while we’re going through this bump in the road,” Nelson said.
“My wife was in tears just thinking about the people and volunteer firefighters who drop everything they’re doing to take care of people they don’t even know.”