A family with young children has lost everything following a fire early Tuesday morning in Stokes Township.
Shortly after 1 a.m., firefighters were called out to a fire at a two-story home at 12131 Minshall Road, near Midway. Upon their arrival, 60 percent of the home was involved in flames, said Chief Brian Bennington of the Central Townships Joint Fire District.
“We were forced back by heavy heat and it became a defensive fire,” Bennington said. “It was a total loss for the family.”
Bennington said the fire broke out during “prime sleeping time.” The wife woke up her sleeping husband with complaints of smoke.
The wife and their two 2-year-old daughters quickly escaped, but by the time the husband returned with a bucket of water, “the whole room had flashed,” he said.
It’s suspected the blaze began as an electrical fire in the kitchen. The State Fire Marshal is investigating.
Several tankers were called in to assist with bringing water to the rural area. Mutual aid was called in from Stokes, Range, and Jefferson township fire departments in Madison County; Madison County EMS, City of London fire, Tri-County Joint Fire District, Madison Township Fire in Clark County, BMP Fire and Jefferson Township in Fayette County and Silvercreek Township in Green County.
“They’re so far from everybody,” Bennington said.
The fire chief also noted the home did not have smoke detectors.
“This could have been a huge loss of life if she wouldn’t have woken up,” Bennington said, adding that the chance of fire substantially increases during the holiday season due to Christmas lights and especially holiday cooking.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving sees more fires than any other day during the year due to cooking fires. In 2014, there were 1,550 house fires across the country, which is 230 percent higher than normal.
The local family, which did not have renter’s insurance on the property, is being assisted by the American Red Cross.
Bennington said the situation is heartbreaking.
“It’s terrible any time this happens, but especially unfortunately over the holidays,” he said.
Andrea Chaffin can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619 or via Twitter @AndeeWrites.
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