UNION TOWNSHIP — A two-story farmhouse near West Milton has been deemed a complete loss following a Friday night fire.
Firefighters were called to 11173 Frederick-Garland Road at 8:29 p.m. Friday on a report of a fully-involved house fire.
According to reports, a female resident was sleeping when her dog woke her, likely from the sounds of a passerby trying to alert the resident of the fire, Laura Fire Department Chief Dan Baker said.
Baker said while no cause has yet been identified, when crews arrived to fight the blaze, they first found heavy damage to the north garage area of the home. Baker said the fire is not being considered suspicious.
“I would say the home and contents would be considered a total loss,” said Baker, who said outbuildings on the property were not damaged.
One firefighter suffered a cut to his hand and was treated at the scene on Friday, Baker said.
“But there were no serious injuries,” he said.
Multiple other pets were found on the premises, but not all were able to be saved, Baker said.
“We believe there were several pets that did perish in the fire,” he said.
Mutual aid was offered by West Milton, Ludlow Falls, Pitsburg, Phillipsburg, Pleasant Hill, Arcanum and Fletcher fire departments, according Baker, along with the Union Township Life Squad, and Miami County Sheriff’s Office, who provided traffic control.
Firefighters were again called to the scene Saturday morning, as the fire had rekindled in the garage area, but no additional damage was reported Saturday, Baker said.
“With the older methods of construction, with the balloon frame construction, there are lots of concealed open spaces, which make it harder to put fires out,” Baker said. “When older homes are added on to, that makes it even harder to put those fires out,” Baker said.
Baker said the homeowner was lucky to be alerted by the dogs and the passerby.
“We do not believe there were any working smoke detectors in the home,” said Baker, who stresses how important they are to have installed in each home. “The Red Cross can help if needed. They have a program and will come out and install them for residents. I can’t stress their importance enough.”
Baker said a damage estimate is not yet available, and the fire remains under investigation.
— Mike Ullery contributed to this story
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