Arcata, CA - On 2/1/2023, at 8:34 A.M., units from the Arcata Fire Protection District, Humboldt Bay Fire, Blue Lake Fire, and Westhaven Fire were dispatched to a reported residential structure fire on the 1700 block of Iverson Avenue in Arcata. The first arriving fire engine company reported moderate smoke coming from the crawl space under the house. As they made entry into the structure, they found the residence full of smoke, with fire around a floor furnace. Additional units arrived and crews simultaneously attacked the fire and searched the structure. No occupants were in the structure at the time, as it was under renovation.
Firefighters had the fire controlled in 15 minutes. Crews then accessed concealed locations within the floorspace and under the house to extinguish remaining hot spots.
Damage to the residence was limited primarily to the living room area and hallway with damage estimated at $10,000. Fire personnel conducted an origin and cause investigation and determined that the fire was accidental and caused by plywood being stacked on top of the floor furnace that was believed to be shut off.
Arcata Fire Protection District wants to remind the public that floor furnaces are not turned to the “Off” position simply by turning the thermostat to the lowest temperature setting. Often people believe that the floor furnace is “off” when it is set to its lowest temperature. When the ambient temperature around the thermostat drops below the set temperature, the floor furnace will come on. Also, the AFPD wants the public to know that combustibles should never be placed on or immediately adjacent to floor furnace grates.
There were no injuries to civilians, fire personnel, or pets.