Janesville60.8°

Fire displaces homeowner, leaves $40,000 damage

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Gazette staff
May 3, 2011
— A Janesville woman was displaced from her home Sunday afternoon after a fire caused $40,000 damage.

Jennifer Schmidt told fire officials she had left her home more than hour before a neighbor and a passerby reported heavy smoke coming from the eaves of the attached single-car garage to her home at 2211 Mount Vernon Ave., according to fire officials.


When fire crews arrived on scene at 5:45 p.m., they found a fire in the garage that had spread to the attic and rear sun porch of the one-story, single-family residence.


Schmidt told fire officials she had bagged trash and placed it in the garage before leaving the house Sunday afternoon.


After investigating, fire officials found the fire started in the trash bags stored in the garage and determined its cause to be improperly discarded smoking materials.


Schmidt is staying with friends, according to reports.


An Alliant Energy gas technician provided utility assistance while Janesville police officers assisted with traffic control at the scene.


Fire crews remained on scene for more than two hours removing smoldering insulation from the attic, extinguishing hot spots and securing the building, according to Bill Ruchti, shift commander.


One firefighter suffered a minor ankle injury and was treated and released from Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center after the call was finished, according to the report.



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