Investigations to be conducted regarding fires at two unoccupied residences


STERLING — A pair of fires that destroyed two unoccupied residences in the Sterling area over the weekend did not cause any injuries and are expected to be investigated further, according to Sterling Area Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Ray Delaney.

The Sterling Area Fire Department responded to a total of three fires over the weekend, none resulting in injuries. The first fire was reported at approximately 1:10 p.m., April 5 on the 100 block of Rifle River Trail in Deep River Township.

Delaney said the fire occurred at a vacant home with no electricity or gas connected to it. A state fire marshal was contacted about the incident for a possible investigation, Delaney said.

A second fire at an unoccupied home was reported April 6 around 9:35 p.m. on South Saunders Road in Adams Township. Delaney said the fire department was requested at that incident while many firefighters were still on scene at a different fire, which was reported at a sawmill structure on Lagrant Road in Clayton Township.

“Some of us had just gotten back to the fire hall from the sawmill one, and some of them were still out there wrapping things up, and we got this call for this other one,” he said.

According to Delaney, the Adams Township fire ignited at a home that had already suffered fire damage in the past.

“It was already unoccupied, and unlivable,” he said. “It was already half-burnt.”

A fire marshal was requested for an investigation into the Saunders Road fire, Delaney said.

While the cause of the fire at the two vacant homes is currently unknown, Delaney said the sawmill fire, which was reported at approximately 5:10 p.m. on April 6, appeared to be accidental.

“We believe that heat off of some machinery ignited it,” he said. “That one we’re pretty sure it was accidental.”

All three fires resulted in total losses, Delaney said.

Central Dispatch Director said the first fire was cleared at approximately 2:47 a.m. April 6, and that the second and third fires were both cleared around 11:45 p.m. on Sunday.


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