A house fire this morning at 301 N. Second St. in Fairfield caused extensive damage to an apartment at the residence and has forced the family to seek alternate lodging. The Fairfield Fire Department responded to the residence at 6:23 a.m. and spent the next 1.5 hours putting out the fire and cleaning up debris. The fire was caused when one of the residents of the apartment lighted a match to get rid of a foul odor, and the match caught the bedding on fire. The fire department estimated the fire caused $5,000 in damages. The apartment had been occupied by Joyce Ulrich-Smith, her daughter Ashley Smith, and Ashley’s infant son, Archer. Jan Thatcher, a family friend, said the Smiths lost everything in the fire and are staying with family members and friends in town for the time being. Those who wish to drop off supplies for the family may do so at 52 N. Morgan St. between 3:30-8 p.m. daily.
Ulrich-Smith said she believes some kind of gas got into the residence because she saw flames shoot through the air from the match in her hand to the bedding and other belongings in her bedroom. She said she was not burned in the fire. She inhaled some smoke and was cleared for release after visiting the Jefferson County Health Center. Ashley Smith and Archer were downstairs in a different room when the fire began and they also escaped unharmed.