Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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Police & Fire

Lamp cord sparks fire in 132-year-old home in Sandusky

SANDUSKY - An electrical short in a lamp cord apparently caused a fire that damaged much of a newly-restored historic home, the house's owner said yesterday.

The 132-year-old house at 532 Wayne St. sustained extensive smoke damage in the blaze that was detected about 2 p.m. Monday, Chris Zuck said.

The three-story, white painted-brick house, which Mr. Zuck described as Italianate/Victorian, had been shown the night before to more than 350 visitors during a holiday tour of historic homes sponsored by Sandusky's Old House Guild, he said.

The three-story house, which has more than two dozen rooms, had been slated to be shown again Monday night, but the fire canceled those plans - and ruined two years of restoration work by Mr. Zuck and his wife, Lisa.

“It's a shock what happened,” Mr. Zuck said. “It was in pretty poor shape when we moved in, and we had the whole first floor back up to Victorian standards, except for the kitchen.”

Mr. Zuck said fire officials told him the blaze likely was started by a short in a lamp cord that was on a piano in the house's parlor.

“The entire parlor is pretty much destroyed, and the entire house is smoke-damaged,” he said. “We're going to have to see what can be salvaged.”

Smoke damage is worst on the first floor, he said.

Some of the hardwood floors on the first story will likely have to be replaced, but much of the wood trim was protected under numerous layers of paint and plaster and may be salvageable, Mr. Zuck said. In addition, the house's plaster-covered brick interior walls prevented the fire from spreading.

No damage estimate was available, but Mr. Zuck said he expects the figure to be around $50,000. Sandusky assistant fire Chief Benny Higgenbotham, who led the effort to extinguish the blaze, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mr. Zuck said the house has fire insurance, which will help pay for the damage and allow him and his wife to try to hire a contractor to begin restoring the house again.

He said his wife, two stepchildren, and a daughter are staying at a hotel and plan to find a long-term place to stay while their historic home is under construction again.

“I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy,” he said. “It's not fun.”

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