East Dover fire destroys home

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EAST DOVER — Two adults escaped a fire that destroyed a house early Monday morning.

"When we arrived most of the walls were down. The roof was in," East Dover Fire Chief Jon Abel said. "We were in a very defensive position. We spent the night there knocking everything down, making sure it would not rekindle."

The East Dover Volunteer Fire Company received a report of "a fully involved structure fire" on Monday at about 1:20 a.m. Everyone was out of the Higley Hill home when the call came in. The owner was one of the occupants at the time. The house was his primary residence.

The home is considered a total loss. No cost estimate on the damage was available at the time of the interview, which occurred late Monday afternoon.

Fire departments from West Dover and Wilmington assisted at the scene. Abel said no one was injured while responding.

He did not know whether a smoke alarm had helped.

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"The occupants were awake at the time. They were alerted by the flames," Abel said. "They had heard some noises but didn't know what it was. Then they realized their house was on fire."

The fire was not considered suspicious in origin. Abel confirmed the fire started on the outside of the two-story building with a heat source as the cause.

The windy weather was not blamed for any challenges in firefighting efforts or the fire itself.

"I wondered about that," Abel said. "There was a little wind but I don't think it hampered us in any way. We were fortunate with the rain on Saturday. It made the leaves a little wet."

The only challenge was the one local chiefs have been experiencing too regularly in this area: not having enough people to help.

"All the departments around here are shorthanded," Abel said. "But that's not anything new to us."

Call Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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