WEST MILTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A firefighter was hospitalized during a fire that claimed a home here Monday morning.
West Milton fire chief Denny Frantz said the fire fight on the 6000 block of Iddings Road was one of the most challenging he’d faced in his 48 year career.
Crews responded to the call around midnight Monday to find flames and smoke pouring out of the three-story log cabin house.
The home, built in the 1980s, belongs to prominent Troy lawyer Jose Lopez. Lopez and his wife were awoken by fire alarms and escaped safely.
Chief Frantz said, “Had they not had the smoke detector, they probably wouldn’t have made it out.”
West Milton’s population is close to 5,000 residents and many of the responding firefighters from 5 neighboring towns know the family.
“I can’t imagine standing around watching your home and everything you own burn. Right now, all they got out of the house was the clothes on their back,” Chief Frantz said.
The house’s construction and location presented additional challenges for fire crews. Chief Frantz said the tongue-and-groove wooden planking held in flames and firefighters had to break through nearly five inches of insulation in the ceiling in order to find hot spots.
One firefighter was injured when he slipped on a ladder. He was receiving medical attention at a nearby hospital, but appeared to suffer only minor injuries.
It took closes to 8 hours to fully contain the fire and several responders remained on scene well into the afternoon.
Chief Frantz said it’s unclear what started the fire. A wood-burning stove was located in the most heavily damaged area of the house, though it was brand new and appeared to be functioning properly.
The state fire marshal will help with the investigation.
The homeowners plan to stay with relatives or use services and shelter from the Red Cross.