Thursday’s fire at an abandoned house on South East Street in Hillsboro marked the fifth time since Sunday that area firefighters have been dispatched into harm’s way, but Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District Public Information Officer Lt. Branden Jackman said the incidents have no connection.
“It’s just a run of back luck,” Jackman said.
The call went out to Paint Creek firefighters at 10:57 a.m. Thursday of a report of an abandoned house on fire on South East Street, across from the Southside Praise & Worship Center in Hillsboro.
Equipment and personnel from the Lynchburg Area Joint Fire and Ambulance District rendered mutual aid in the fire, which Jackman said was under control in a matter of minutes with no injuries to firemen.
The string of conflagrations began when a dog alerted a homeowner to a barn fire Sunday night on Mount Washington Road near SR 247.
Jackman said firefighters were able to contain the fire shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday, but not before the building burned to the point of total loss.
He said firemen were told that the dog was injured in the fire, but no other injuries were reported.
That was followed by a four-alarm blaze late Tuesday afternoon that caused widespread damage to a home on U.S. Route 50 east of Hillsboro, across from the Hills and Dales Training Center.
Officials said no one was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.
The fire had the route closed down for several hours late Tuesday afternoon and into the evening as crews fought the fire and conducted cleanup, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The Rev. Tom Zile, who pastors the Hillsboro Church of the Nazarene, told The Times-Gazette at the scene that he was driving by the home, owned by Peter Kelly Jr., at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when he noticed flames coming out of a first story window.
The pastor immediately called 911 and reported the blaze.
Fire crews from Paint Creek responded and had the blaze under control by 4 p.m., but remained on the scene for some time after, officials said.
Paint Creek was assisted by personnel from the Lynchburg Joint Fire and Ambulance District, Marshall Township Fire Department and Highland County North Joint Fire and Ambulance District.
U.S. 50 was reopened to one lane of traffic between Haggerty Road and Petersburg Pike shortly before 6:30 p.m., according to ODOT.
Wednesday witnessed a pair of structure fires, one near Buford and the other on Greenfield-Sabina Road in southern Fayette County.
A structure fire was reported Wednesday afternoon at 2189 Ruble Lane near Buford in Clay Township.
The shed, owned by Robert and Lori Dehart, was a total loss when firefighters arrived on the scene shortly before 5 p.m.
Dehart told The Times-Gazette that he first saw a flickering of flames that he thought might have been something in the fireplace in the house, but upon looking out the living room window he saw flames erupting from the shed and called the fire department.
Mark Peters, a firefighter and paramedic for Eastern Joint Fire EMS District in Sardinia, said that crews were dispatched for what was thought to be a suspected barn fire.
“Upon crew arrival it was found to be a shed full of straw fully engulfed,” he said. “They had some little dogs running around, but no people and no animals were injured, and we had water on the shed and it was put out in a quick, timely manner.”
Quick response by the Sardinia department combined with a steady rain prevented the fire from spreading to the nearby home, he said.
All of the fires are of an undetermined cause and are currently under investigation, except for the Buford fire, which Peters said was caused by a heat lamp placed too close to straw in the Dehart’s storage shed.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571