Down Memory Lane 11/3/11
BIRCHWOOD FAMILY BURNED OUT
From the Nov. 9, 1960 Knik Arm Courier
Dennis Bel Isle
A telephone receiver left off the hook resulted in the total destruction by fire of the home of the Thomas DiNatale family of Birchwood.
Mrs. DiNatale discovered the fire that had started in the electrical writing in the roof of the house and attempted to call the fire company. She discovered that someone on the party line had left their phone off the hook and she was unable to call out.
The fire at this time was still progressing slowly, so she sent two of the children to a neighbor to call in the fire.
The children finally ended up at the home of Wes Mickey where they gave Mrs. Mickey the incorrect message that “… a woodpile was smoking and that they were afraid it was going to catch fire.”
Mrs. Mickey called the fire company, but since the DiNatales were newly arrived in the community, the location of their home was not known. The children gave the location as near Ondolas. This led to confusion, as they are two families by that name in different sections of the community.
By the time the Fire Co. was able to locate the fire, it was completely out of control and although the firemen were able to remove some of the belongings from the home, it was completely destroyed.
The DiNatales had recently purchased the home. The loss was covered by insurance.