WEST ELKTON, Ohio (WDTN)- A Preble County family is homeless after their home is destroyed by fire.
It happened on Greenbush Road in Preble County late Wednesday morning.
The homeowner, Gene Spicer, said he was trying to thaw frozen pipes when the fire began.
“I had an electric heater and hairdryer,” said Spicer. “I came outside for a minute, smelled smoke and tried to put it out. It was too late”.
Six area fire departments were called to battle the fire.
Fire officials said they needed all the help they could get. “With the extreme cold temperatures, guys were going down pretty quick,” West Elkton Assistant Fire Chief John Cassidy told 2 NEWS. “It took a lot of manpower. It took a lot of tankers of water”.
Crews did the best they could, but the home has been ruled a total loss. First responders were able to rescue a dog and two cats from the home. Two other cats and one dog are still unaccounted for.
Investigators called it a tragic reminder of how dangerous the cold weather can be, even inside your home.
“When you get pipes that freeze up, be cautious of what you use to thaw them out. Try not to use propane torches. If you are going to be thawing them out, stay with whatever heating device you use. Don’t walk away until your pipes are thawed out,” suggested Cassidy.