Tuesday, June 27, 2000

Fire ruins a dad's gift to daughter

House destroyed by blaze

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        MADISON TOWNSHIP — As Edward Morris talked about the house he recently bought and remodeled for his daughter, Misty, 19, and her young son, tears streamed down her face.

        A block away, firefighters were looking through the remains of that house on Trenton-Franklin Road, trying to find the cause of a blaze that destroyed it and heavily damaged another next door Monday morning. There were no injuries.

        “I bought it for her, a place she could call her own,” said Mr. Morris, who lives several doors away. “Everything she owned was in that house.”

        He said he bought the small, wood-frame house several months ago and his daughter moved into it this spring.

        Ms. Morris' house is a total loss, and the home next door suffered fire and smoke damage, said Madison Township Fire Chief Gary Hollon. The damage estimate from the fire is $150,000.

        The cause of the fire is undetermined, Chief Hollon said.

        Fire crews responding to the 10:40 a.m. call said they could see the fire from several blocks away. Ms. Mor ris' house was engulfed and part of the other house was burning when the first firetruck arrived, Chief Hollon said.

        Smoke from the fire could be seen from downtown Middletown, several miles away.

        There was no one home at Ms. Morris' house when the fire broke out, and Stanley Lewis, who lived in the house next door, was already outside when crews arrived, Chief Hollon said.

        Firefighters from Middletown, Trenton and Wayne Township also were called to the scene.

        The Middletown chapter of the American Red Cross provided support to Ms. Morris and Mr. Lewis.

        Ms. Morris will stay with her father for the time being.

        “It's just amazing how people's lives can be affected in a matter of minutes,” he said.


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