A fire totally destroyed a house at 1092 Twilight Drive, off Nicopolis Road several miles south of Bedford. The call came in at 6:33 p.m.
According to Bedford Fire Chief Todd Stone, they got a good view of how bad it was going to be when the could see smoke and flames from the fire before they even left the town limits on Falling Creek Road. When they got there, seven-and-a-half miles from the fire house, eight minutes after they got the call, they found the house blazing with heavy flames throughout the building.
The fire had spread fast and the lone occupant barely got out. His hair and face were singed but he had no serious injuries and refused medical help. There was some delay calling the fire in as he was unable to retrieve his cell phone before fleeing the house. A passerby reported the fire.
When Bedford got there, the house and a garage were heavily involved. Vehicles outside were on fire and the fire had spread to the nearby woods. A live downed power line in front of the house hampered where the firefighters could put their hoses. Stone said it took AEP 40 minutes to come and de-energize the line.
A unit from Forest Fire Department arrived to assist, providing needed manpower. Tankers from several fire departments throughout the county formed a tanker task force to haul firefighting water to the blaze.
Stone said they got the fire under control after an hour.
“It was a very hot fire,” Stone said. “That fire was one of the hottest fires I have been to in a long time.”
Other than the occupant, who had minor injuries, nobody was hurt.
Stone said the fire is still under investigation, but fire officials have been able to determine it was accidental.
Stone said that they were able to get to the fire so quickly because they always have firefighters in the firehouse. Both Bedford and Forest have bunk facilities in their fire houses, so they always have enough firefighters on hand to get a fully manned fire truck out the door immediately. Stone said he currently has 61 volunteers in the fire department and the Bedford Fire Department has never missed a call in its 133 year history.
Photos courtesy of John Wilcher, Photo Unit, Bedford Fire Department.