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A family asleep when fire broke out at their home in the Lucas County community of Whitehouse escaped injury on Sunday; their house, however, was severely damaged with a loss estimated at $200,000 or more, officials said.
The alarm was called in at 8:09 a.m. at 6940 Providence St., Whitehouse Deputy Fire Chief Josh Hartbarger said. It started in the garage at the two-story structure on Providence Street almost across from the village hall.
A passer-by noticed the flames and called 911, said Mayor Angela Kuhn who was at the scene. She said she did not have names of the family members, but said a husband and wife and some children escaped the house. The husband was too distraught to provide much information, she said.
Representatives from the American Red Cross were assisting family members as a backhoe clawed at charred remains of the garage. From the front view of the property, there was a gaping hole in the middle of the roof on the second story of the structure. The side and rear views showed the devastation caused by the fire.
Chief Hartbarger said the blaze was under control by 10:30 a.m. and crews remained at the scene until 2 p.m. He said four people were in the house when the fire started, but no names were released because it is an ongoing investigation.
Across the street, as fire crews remained on the scene before noon, people lounged on lawn furniture as though watching a parade. A firefighter darted from the house to get equipment, and said in passing that she was trying to save the family‘s fish. The family’s dog escaped from the house, an official said.
The mayor said there was no information available on the cause of the fire.
Whitehouse firefighters were assisted by the city of Waterville’s fire department. As the flames licked skyward, a plume of smoke was visible in Waterville, 5 miles away.
House fires in Whitehouse are rare. Mayor Kuhn said she thought the last one took place in the 1990s.41.51375 -83.80333
Officials estimate damage at $200,000 or more.