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Gazette Staff

Fire investigators were unable to determine what started a fire that scorched the outside of a West End residence Friday evening.

Deputy Fire Marshal Ralph Freeman said the fire at 2941 Terry Ave. did about $5,000 damage. The fire was reported about 6 p.m. and burned a juniper tree and blackened the outside of the house up to the eaves. Freeman said there was minor damage to the outer wall of the house.

Battalion Chief Budge Parker said the fire burned a fiberglass cover over a deck which caused considerable black smoke early on. The fire burned through a power line to the house and the electric meter. Parker said fire crews did not believe that started the fire.

The owners were returning from dinner when they saw the smoke.

"As they got closer, their realized it was their house," Parker said.

The man grabbed a garden hose and put out some of the flames.

"He actually did a pretty good job of containing it," Parker said.

Firefighers from Station No. 5 arrived shortly and extinguished the fire. Fire crews from stations 3, 4 and 5 and a ladder truck also responded. A total of 15 firefighters worked on mop-up and ensured that the fire had not extended into the house.

There was minimal smoke damage but no fire damage to the interior, Parker said.

"They we're pretty lucky," he said.

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