It may go down as one of the oddest calls the Unified Fire Authority has ever responded to, according to investigators.
Firefighters were called Monday to a house fire and arrived to find the fire had already been 100 percent extinguished hours earlier.
UFA spokesman Chad Simons noted that based on the damage, it was no small fire.
The kitchen was completely blackened by flames. The heat of the fire was so intense it charred tables, chairs, walls and melted a microwave and other appliances. There was smoke damage throughout the house and on the outside patio awnings. Damage was estimated at $100,000.
Yet, despite "evidence of smoke pouring out of the house," not one person called 911 while the house was on fire, Simons said.
About 12:30 p.m. Monday, firefighters were called to a house near 6000 South and 3700 West on a report of an unconscious man and possible kitchen fire.
The 65-year-old man who lives in the house claimed he was in his garage working on a snow blower when a fire erupted in his kitchen, Simons said. The man said he put out the fire with a garden hose and even tore through the dry wall into his ceiling to make sure the fire hadn't spread. Adding to the mystery, however, investigators did not find a lot of water damage inside the house, Simons said.
The man was already removing burnt furniture out of his house when he apparently felt light-headed and walked across the street to neighbor Melissa Neusch's house.
"He said the kitchen was on fire and he had passed out," she said. "He seemed way out of it."
Continuing his odd behavior, Neusch said after the man reported the fire to her, he sat down on her porch with a large knife and peeled an orange while she called 911.
Neusch also noted she did not see any fire or smoke.
When investigators arrived, the blackened room wasn't even warm, Simons said. For a fire to burn that intensely and be that cooled off by the time investigators arrived, it had to have started hours earlier, he said.
The man was still having a hard time breathing when fire crews arrived and was taken to a local hospital. The man also had a history of asthma, Simons said.The cause of the fire and how it started were both still being investigated Monday.
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