(Cody, Wyo.) - Yesterday, Reboot shared the story
of the Lincoln Avenue home that
caught fire early Sunday morning. We have more information this evening,
and we also wanted to clarify a few points on behalf of the family and Fire
Marshall Sam Wilde.
In our prior story, Wilde was quoted as saying there were no working smoke
detectors in the home. Homeowner, Jesse Ballard reached out to Reboot to
explain that to his knowledge, all smoke detectors had batteries in them at
the time of the fire. He added, "I checked the one in my daughter's room
the next day, and it had batteries and the smoke detector worked. The fire
thankfully wasn't near my daughter's room, so I believe that particular
alarm wasn't going off because the fire was not near her room."
Fire Marshall Wilde affirmed this point. "The fire wasn't near his
daughter's room so it's very possible that this is why that particular
alarm didn't go off," Wilde said. With regards to the other smoke
detectors, Wilde added that he didn't hear any smoke detectors going off at
the time of the fire. However, Ballard told Reboot that when he went back
in to rescue his cat he heard an alarm going off.
Fire Marshall Wilde said the fire started in the chimney, and it has been
determined that the cause of the fire was "combustibles were too close to
the fireplace on the inside of the wall." The damage was extensive with
most of the fire going up into the attic and the roof. Fire crews had to
pull down a lot of insulation to get to the flames. Wilde described the
home as currently unlivable.
Ballard told Reboot that he's first and foremost thankful that his family
is alive and safe. He also wanted to express his sincere gratitude towards
the firemen and their families. "I was so impressed with their composure
through it all. They really took their time and did a good job. And the
families of these firemen have been nothing but compassionate in wanting to
help. It's amazing how kind they've been to my family. I feel in debt to
Jesse did go back into the home sometime during the investigation to look
for his cat named "Seven." It took quite a while, but eventually Seven
appeared and despite being a little distraught, we're happy to report she's
doing just fine.
While his home is uninhabitable due to the fire damage, Jesse is staying in
his garage. "My daughter and I are lucky to have tons of loving family and
friends at our side supporting me and my family."
Fire Marshall Wilde wanted to also let the community know that if anyone is
installing a new fireplace or wood stove, the Cody Fire Department offers a
FREE installation check. Anyone interested in this service can contact the
Cody Fire Department.
*Feature photo shows homeowner Jesse Ballard with his daughter during the
summer 2015 / Pitchengine Communities*