Fire rips through duplex

A woman and her child were treated for possible smoke inhalation Tuesday after a fire broke out in their Newton duplex.
Firefighters were dispatched at 7:21 p.m. to 405 E. J St., where they found a working structure fire on the right side of a one-story duplex.
"There was a significant amount of fire showing when we arrived," said Newton Fire Chief Kevin Yoder.
Flames extended out from the inside of the residence to its front and right sides. Black burn marks extended in V-shapes from windows on the structure. Once flames were extinguished, heavy black smoke poured from the structure's right side.
Residents who live in both sides of the duplex were home at the time of the blaze. Yoder said a woman and her child, as well as another male adult, live at the residence where the fire started.
Only the woman and her child were at home during the incident, and they were treated on the scene by Newton-Conover Rescue Squad emergency personnel for possible smoke inhalation, Yoder said. The mother was seen leaving the property, carrying her child wrapped in a thick quilt and accompanied by emergency responders.
No other injuries were reported.
Patrick Havens lives at 403 E. J St., which is the left side of the duplex. He said the woman who lives in the side that caught fire alerted him to the blaze. Havens went next door to see what he could do to stop the fire from spreading.
"I rounded the corner in her door, and there was already smoke from the shoulder up," he said.
Havens said he saw the extent of the fire, which appeared to be coming from the woman's bedroom closet. He realized there was nothing he could do to extinguish the blaze, so he ushered the woman and her child from their side of the duplex and called 9-1-1.
The fire was under control at about 7:55 p.m., which is 34 minutes after firefighters responded. Newton Fire Department brought three engines to the scene and more than 20 personnel.
Firefighters used a ladder to access the structure's roof, where they cut a hole in the shingles to ventilate the building. Once the hot spots were extinguished, firefighters set up fans to clear the smoke from the duplex's right side.
"I was surprised how fast (firefighters) got here," Havens said. "I really thought it was going to get to my side."
Yoder said fire officials will investigate the scene to determine the cause of the fire. Damage estimates will also be compiled, he said.