Closed door likely helped save Moorland house in fire

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Firefighters attend to a house at 724 Grand Ave. in Moorlan where a bed caught fire in one of the back rooms, at right. Items were being handed out through the window, and smoke could be seen from the rear of the house. Clothes piled on top of a baseboard heater began smoldering, and caught a bed on fire, Moorland Assistant Fire Chief Brad Hoffman said.

MOORLAND — A closed door very likely saved a house in Moorland from being seriously burned Tuesday night after a fire started in a bedroom.

Firefighters were called to 724 Grand Ave. in Moorland about 7:30 p.m., and were able to stop the fire from destroying much more than clothes and some bedding.

The fire started in a pile of clothes on top of an electric baseboard heater, said Moorland Assistant Fire Chief Brad Hoffman.

“They had some electric baseboard heaters installed to heat the house,” Hoffman said. “In that room the heater was next to the north wall, and the bed was a couple feet away.”

The fire was pretty much contained to the clothes, the bed and some of the walls, Hoffman said. There was some smoke damage to the rest of the house, but with the door closed it didn’t get as bad as it could have been.

“The door was closed, and that saved the rest of the house,” Hoffman said.

Homeowner Jor-El Battin said he’d just returned home from a long day at work. His roommate was cooking dinner when they smelled smoke, and initially thought some plastic had gotten onto the stove.

But then they found smoke was filling the living room, coming from the bedroom.

“It was bad. Black smoke, I couldn’t breathe,” Battin said.

As firefighters could be seen breaking a window and throwing items outside — with flames briefly visible as well — Battin had no idea how badly the house might be damaged.

“Everything I have is in it,” he said.

Moorland and Callender firefighters were on scene until about 8:30 p.m. MidAmerican Energy arrived as well to turn off the power to the house. The Webster County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene.