Wednesday, May 24th, 2023
Fort Recovery home fire deemed total loss
By Tom Haines
FORT RECOVERY - A fire rendered a Fort Recovery home a total loss late Monday night, but its sole occupant got out and there were no injuries.
Southwest Mercer Fire Chief Kim Day said the fire at 208 Gwendolyn Street was called in at 10:50 p.m. Firefighters arrived to find the porch fully engulfed, with fire spreading through the wall into the attic.
"The second story wasn't really accessible from downstairs, it was sealed off, so we had to go in through the roof," Day said. "They were able to make an access hole downstairs to get into it also, but most of it was fought from the outside in."
The resident called the fire in from his neighbor's house, according to Day. The fire was subdued within about an hour with the St. Henry and Southwest Mercer fire departments responding.
"I'd say (we were on scene) within a couple minutes, because we had half a dozen guys on station at that time when the call came in," Day said.
Based on the state of the fire when they arrived and the path of the fire, Day said he believed it started on the porch, but didn't know the cause. He said he spoke to the state fire marshal Tuesday morning to review the facts, but doesn't expect the state marshal to be involved further.
Day said there was also ammunition stored on the porch that went off due to the heat of the fire, but it was over when firefighters arrived and no one was injured as a result. He said that the ammunition was not considered relevant to the cause of the fire and that there was nothing illegal about storing it there.
According to online Mercer County property records, the house is owned by Melinda Staugler and Louis Hunt. Day said the house was insured, but he didn't have an estimate on the cost of the damage. A neighboring house also suffered heat damage to the siding.
"I'd say the house is going to be a total loss. I can't imagine them fixing this," Day said.
A fire late Monday night damaged a house at 206 Gwendolyn St., Fort Recovery, owned by Justin Moeller. The error was due to information provided to the newspaper.