Blaze destroys Vale house

The Enterprise

VALE — A blaze that erupted at Monday night consumed a three-story house and required help from five area fire departments.

The home at 4037 Alder Road northwest of Vale, owned by Dave and Kerri Wenger, was destroyed, said Vale Fire Chief Jess Tolman said. The home was built in 2009 and stood at 3,602 square feet.

Family members at home at the time the fire broke out got out of the house without injury.

The fire chief said the fire began near the chimney.

“It started around the flue that went through the roof,” Tolman said.

The fire was reported between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., Tolman said.

Fire departments from Ontario, Payette, Nyssa and Adrian responded to assist Vale firefighters. Firefighters were on the scene until about 2:30 a.m. Tolman said. About 20 firefighters responded to the blaze.

The blaze proved a challenge to fight for two reasons, Tolman said.

“The biggest thing was the side of the structure, it presented tactical issues,” Tolman said.

Another key factor was the cold, he said. Water hose couplings froze and forced firefighters to improvise, Tolman said.

“They went and got some antifreeze to unfreeze the couplings,” Tolman said.

The cold temperatures also impacted firefighters, he said.

“We had icicles hanging off of our gear,” Tolman said.

Tolman said the cause of the blaze was listed as a chimney fire.

Wenger is an area veterinarian and a Vale School Board member.