ADAM CIRUCCI, Staff Writer 11/12/2004
SADSBURY -- Henry Swisher was enjoying his day off Thursday morning when something caught his attention outside his Pomeroy home.
"I was watching TV and I saw movement out of the corner of my eye," said Swisher, a welder by trade. "I looked out the window and there was the neighbors house, burning."
A fire broke out on Spruce Street, at the two-story home Caroline Cluff shares with her three children, at about 11:20 a.m., Pomeroy Fire Chief Jeff Sellers said.
Luckily, no one was home at the time, and no injuries were reported.
The only victim was the familys pet lizard, a bearded dragon.
"We got our two dogs out, and our cats," Cluff said. "But he was trapped in the aquarium. The poor thing was toasted."
Witnesses said the flames apparently broke out in the front living room.
"First I saw the curtains on fire in the living room window," Swisher said. "And once that window blew out and let air in, that was it. The whole place went up."
The dry, autumn wind did not help matters either, he said.
The fire spread so quickly that by the time Swisher sent his daughter, Stacey, to call 911, the whole house was ablaze.
"All I know is that there are flames shooting out of the house," Stacey told the 911 operator.
Swisher said he began to worry that the flames could jump to the home he has lived in for the past 24 years.
He pointed to a tree between the properties. Its top limbs had been singed by the flames.
"I grabbed a garden hose and started to spray the side of my house, just to keep it cool," Swisher said.
But the intense heat soon drove him back to his front porch.
Within minutes of arrival, firefighters had the blaze under control, witnesses said.
The Westwood, Sadsburyville, Parkesburg and Cochranville fire companies assisted in extinguishing the blaze, Sellers said.
The second floor of the home sustained smoke and heat damage, but most of the first floor was destroyed, firefighters said.
In the meantime, Cluff said she plans to stay with her sister, Cynthia, of Coatesvilles West End.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
İDaily Local News 2004
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