Saturday, May 8, 2004

Hamilton home burns

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

Hamilton firefighter Matt Garland surveys damage at a home on South D Street in Hamilton Friday afternoon.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/GLENN HARTONG
HAMILTON - Fire destroyed an older home on Hamilton's west side Friday afternoon.

No one was hurt. Officials said the house dates to the late 1800s.

The two men who live in the house were not home when fire broke out. Firefighters don't know what caused the fire and will continue investigating this weekend.

Firefighters were called to the 200 block of South D Street just after 1:30 p.m. Heavy fire and smoke were coming from the lower windows.

"They saw a lot of smoke from the area," Hamilton Fire Chief Joe Schutte said. "We knew we had a working fire. We did get crews inside in the rear of the house."

The house was of "balloon" construction, meaning there was nothing built into the walls to stop fire from racing through. The many open spaces throughout such a building act as a chimney, Schutte said.

Firefighters were concerned that the fire might spread to a neighboring house about six feet away. That house was sprayed with water and was not damaged.

Audri Hilsmier, who owns that house, watched nervously as flames danced close to her home.

"We were still frightened because the flames were (near) the house," she said. "I never have seen such big flames."


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