Durham County

Firefighters now know cause of Durham’s “suspicious” Sunday night house fire

Firefighters battle the fire at 701 Old Oxford Road.
Firefighters battle the fire at 701 Old Oxford Road. Courtesy of the Durham Fire Department

The Durham Fire Department has now determined the Sunday evening fire at 701 Old Oxford Road was accidental in nature and caused by an unattended fireplace.

Originally on Sunday night, Deputy Fire Chief Chris Iannuzzi called the circumstances of the fire “suspicious.”

But firefighters now believe a resident of the house had been burning scraps from a recent flooring renovation and any original suspicions held by the Department’s investigators as to the cause of the blaze have been eliminated.

Fireplace flames spread to nearby combustibles, Iannuzzi said.

Firefighters were dispatched to the structure fire at 6:26 p.m. Sunday. When they reached the scene of the flames, firefighters reported heavy fire in the front of the house.

Those flames were quickly extinguished. Damage was limited primarily to the front porch.

“There was some heat and smoke damage to the front room,” Iannuzzi said.

There were no injuries.

Colin Warren-Hicks: 919-419-6636, @CWarrenHicks