Belpre house fire hurts 1

BELPRE – A house fire at 1518 Hill St., Belpre, sent one woman to the hospital for smoke inhalation Thursday, officials said.

Firefighters responded to the call that came in at 7:13 p.m. Thursday about a structure fire, said Belpre Volunteer Fire Department Chief Eric Sinnett.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, heavy smoke was coming out of the back bedroom at the 1518 Hill St. home.

Homeowner Pam Hutchinson was removing her pets from the home when engines arrived, Sinnett said.

“Not 30 seconds after we arrived, the back windows of the house blew out, and then the house was fully involved,” said Sinnett.

Firefighters from the Belpre Volunteer Fire Department and the Little Hocking Volunteer Fire Department performed simultaneous interior and exterior attacks on the fire, Sinnett said.

The fire was under control at 7:33 p.m., Sinnett said.

Hutchinson was taken to Camden Clark Medical Center’s St. Joseph’s Campus to be treated for smoke inhalation, Sinnett said. Her condition was unknown Thursday evening.

The animals were believed to have been successfully removed from the home, Sinnett said.

“We know she managed to get her two dogs out,” Sinnett said. “She has two cats who are missing, but they were not found inside the home so we believe they are somewhere in the neighborhood.”

The Belpre Volunteer Fire Department had 20 firefighters and two fire engines on the scene to fight the blaze, Sinnett said. Little Hocking Volunteer Fire Department brought 16 firefighters and two engines to the fire, he said.

Firefighters remained on scene to investigate until 9:02 p.m., Sinnett said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but early reports indicate the fire began when a candle that was burning in the back bedroom fell over and caught nearby wicker furniture on fire, Sinnett said.

The home was deemed a total loss, Sinnett said.

“The fire was burning so hot that it blistered the siding on the neighbor’s home, and that was 25 feet away,” Sinnett said.