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Morning blaze ruled 'accidental'

COVINGTON - The Covington Fire Department was summoned to 3163 Monticello St. at about 9 a.m. Monday, but not before the female homeowner had tried to extinguish a fire herself, according to Capt. Tony Smith.

"When we got there we found a heavily involved attic fire and crews had a little bit of difficulty in extinguishing it because the house had been built onto and the old roof had been left intact," Smith said. "The smoke was so thick, they really couldn't tell what we had, but when we were able to vent the attic and clear some of the smoke, we could see there were two roofs."

Smith said the homeowner, who he estimated to be in her late 50s or early 60s, tried to put the fire out herself by smothering it with clothing.

"She ended up with singed hair and a little bit of smoke inhalation," Smith said, adding that she was treated and released by Newton Medical Center.

There was heavy fire damage to the attic of the one-story, L-shaped, ranch-style home and heavy water and smoke damage in the master bedroom and master bath, where the fire started, Smith said.

"The fire was accidental in nature and started in the area of an exhaust fan in the bathroom. We don't know if it shorted out or what actually caused the fire," he said.

Smith said firefighters were able to save a good portion of the furnishings in other parts of the home.

"It was actually a pretty good save. Our crews did a good job because, we were able to deploy about 14 to 15 tarps to cover the furniture," he said. "In a situation like this, we put the furniture in the middle of the room and put the tarps over it and it somewhat protects it."