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Firefighters still don't know what caused the fire near Southern Village

Southern Village Fire
The Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to the report of a structure fire in the attic of 111 Parkside Circle in Southern Village at 3:04 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. Photo by @krgpryal via Twitter

The Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to a report of an attic fire on the 100 block of Parkside Circle near Southern Village Sunday afternoon.

Five Chapel Hill Fire Department units, a Carrboro unit and an Orange County Emergency Medical Services unit responded. Upon arrival, smoke and flames were visible, and it was confirmed that the fire was in the attic. The fire was out by shortly before 4 p.m., and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire remains unknown. 

Ran Northam, community safety communications specialist for the town of Chapel Hill, said the fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire. 

“There’s no definitive factor,” he said. “As of this time, it’s under investigation, and the fire marshal's office will continue to do that." 

Northam said the fire could have damaged the house even though it was not massive.

“It didn't overtake the whole house, but there was definitely smoke and fire damage to the residence," he said.

Although the fire was mostly confined to the attic, Northam said other parts of the house could have been damaged, as well.

“Anytime there is a fire like this, there is likely smoke damage in the house," he said. "In a lot of the house, the smoke really becomes a problem and needs to be addressed. There’s water damage as well due to the response.” 

Kim Woodward, Orange County EMS operations manager, said it is common for EMS to be dispatched along with the fire department.

“Initially, EMS is there in case there are any victims that are discovered, and there were no victims discovered in this fire” she said. “EMS then resumes a status of making sure we’re there for firefighters. We’re there to provide rehab or medical support to a firefighter that might need it.”

Northam said fire departments in neighboring communities such as Carrboro, Durham, Orange Rural and North Chatham often help to put out Chapel Hill fires.

“Depending on where the fire takes place, neighboring units might be dispatched, as well, because they might be the closest units," he said.

Woodward said EMS and the fire department have a positive relationship and collaborate often.

“It’s these two agencies working together for a common good,” she said. “We have nothing but good things to say.”

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