PITTSFIELD TWP. — A brick farmhouse built in 1900 that caught fire Thursday night is likely a “total loss,” Wellington Community Fire District Chief Mike Wetherbee said Friday.
Firefighters from four departments battled the blaze for four hours after being called to 15760 Quarry Road at 10:18 p.m. Thursday, he said.
“We were out there about four hours by the time we finished doing a lot of overhaul, making sure we didn’t have extension (of the flames) up into the attic areas and things like that,” Wetherbee said.
No injuries were reported during the incident, and several pets — Wetherbee said they were dogs — were reportedly unharmed and able to escape the flames.
Because of the brick construction of the house, there was “a hell of a lot of heat,” Wetherbee said.
“We just had to make sure it was safe to go in,” he said. “A house that old, it’s either built tough or it could be weakened over the years. We had to make sure we had it cooled down considerably before we went in and did our salvage overhaul.”
Because there are no hydrants in the rural area, water had to be shuttled in by tankers, and Wetherbee said fill sites provided enough ammunition against the flames, which proved to be too far along for firefighters to save the house.
“The fire just had such a head start on us, we drove up to a fully involved” structure fire, he said.
Firefighters from Wellington, Oberlin and Camden and LaGrange townships responded to the blaze, as did Central Lorain County Joint Ambulance District personnel and the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but reports of an explosion were unfounded, Wetherbee said.
“To our knowledge, there was no explosion,” he said. “When a fire burns, you’ll hear a lot of popping noises, which could be aerosol cans because those pop. But there were no actual explosions,” other than some ammunition the homeowner had that firefighters could hear going off due to the heat.
The property last sold for $131,000 in July 2006, according to Lorain County property records.