A fire on Hardscrabble Road left a well-known couple without a home Sunday.



Bud and Carol Ritter of 22313 Hardscrabble Road, left their home for Sunday morning activities at church when a fire broke out between 10-10:30 a.m. Sunday. A man saw the smoke and called in the fire.


A fire on Hardscrabble Road left a well-known couple without a home Sunday.

Bud and Carol Ritter of 22313 Hardscrabble Road, left their home for Sunday morning activities at church when a fire broke out between 10-10:30 a.m. Sunday. A man saw the smoke and called in the fire.

At first glance, the fire did not look so bad, Chillicothe Fire Chief John Myers said.

“I could have sat down in a chair and watched TV while the upstairs was roaring,” he said to how main level appeared.

The fire actually began in the basement close to a wood-burning stove, Myers said. The cause of the fire is unknown. Due to its older “balloon” construction, the fire worked its way straight up the walls and into the attic.

Myers said enough personnel and water were available. A Lacon-Sparland water tanker was at the scene too. The only problem was the firemen could not get access to the attic. The fire took out the flooring on the second level, leaving firemen with either access on the stairway only, or outside.

Firemen put out most of the fire quickly, Myers said, but the fire lingered in different areas of the attic. They put out the fire in one spot only to find another.

“We couldn’t get access,” said Myers.

Finally at 6 p.m. that night, trees were cut down to give the aerial ladder truck access to the home.

Firemen remained at the home until about 9 p.m., Myers said. The long battle with the blaze prompted two shifts of about 25 firemen, switching crews in the afternoon.

The couple’s insurance agent met with them Sunday and Myers said they were staying with a relative. The chief estimated a total loss of $100,000.