Pittsburg firefighters responded Sunday morning to a fire at 601 Oakcrest Dr. in southwest Pittsburg, but the home was declared a complete loss despite efforts to battle the blaze.
Battalion chief Jim Radell said when the fire was first reported at 6:44 a.m. firefighters were told that flames were showing through the roof, and those responding then had to navigate a less-than-direct path with downed power lines and icy branches from the winter storm that swept through the area Friday and Saturday.
"It was a delayed response because of weather and power lines being down," Radell said, adding that when they arrived "the house was fully engulfed."
Firefighters indicated their hearts went out to the family in the loss of a home, but said the greatest success is that no lives were lost - neither residents nor firefighters.
"Everything else, it's bad," said captain Bryan Main. "But, the big thing is nobody died."
Main said one other home was exposed to the fire and had some damage to the siding as a result of the incident.
Radell said it was a busy weekend for the department with 22 calls for tree fires and other weather-related concerns, followed by the structure fire first thing on Sunday.
However, firefighters reported that no injury accidents took place during the weekend.
"The roads weren't actually that bad," Radell said.
However, other surfaces were still slick.
"We had EMS calls due to falling," Radell said.
Thorughout the next few days, firefighters anticipate some ongoing situations related to the winter weather.
"The issue of the low-lying trees is still there," Radell said, adding that he would not be surprised to see some localized power outages as trees thaw and branches begin to bounce back to their normal elevations.
Firefighters also advised continuing to use extreme caution regarding anything related to power lines.
"We did have one incident where a person was trying to spray water on the tree limb that was caught on fire by the power line," Main said. "That is definitely a safety concern."
He said throughout Saturday and into the coming week those reporting trees on fire are being asked to simply call the fire department and report the situation.
"We go out and investigate and see if any structures are on fire in the area," Main said.
However, with so much ice he said embers tended to be extinguished immediately upon hitting the ground.
In another situation, Main said an individual asked the department to advise whether he could cut a limb off of a power line with the knowledge that power was out at his house.
"We cannot recommend people touch anything connected to a power line, even if the power is out," Main said. "The best thing to do any time power lines are involved is to get in touch with Westar and let them take control of the situation."