Basement fire quickly handled

May 4—Proper fire safety preparation helped to prevent a dangerous situation Friday from becoming a potentially life-threatening one.

"The occupants only realized there was a problem because numerous smoke detectors started sounding, Deputy Chief Evan Kardosh of Meadville Central Fire Department said after the fire at 369 Randolph St., immediately west of First District Elementary School. "The smoke detectors made this a very small event."

Firefighters found smoky conditions and a small basement fire when they arrived at the three-story, multi-unit residence just after 1 p.m., according to Kardosh.

Four residents were on the third floor at the time the fire was reported.

The fire was quickly extinguished and residents returned to their homes, Kardosh added.

"Once crews made entry, they found heavy smoke on the first floor and the basement," he said, "and found a small fire they were able to contain pretty quickly."

No one was hurt or displaced in the incident, Kardosh added.

Crews were dispatched to the residence at about 12.59 p.m. Kardosh estimated the blaze was under control within five minutes of arrival.

The precise cause was undetermined but was considered unsuspicious and unintentional, according to Kardosh. The source was traced to a small pile of household goods.

"Things were burned up pretty good, so we couldn't make a true determination on what actually started the fire," Kardosh said, "but it appeared to be household items touching together with some batteries."

The fire did not affect any structural or electrical components of the house and residents were able to re-enter after smoke cleared from the structure.

Meadville City Police and Auxiliary Police also responded to the scene.

Mike Crowley can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at