Pickaway News Journal

Wed, May 24, 2017

Condemned home destroyed by fire

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Firefighters work to contain a blaze at 213 N. Pickaway St. on Friday. (Photo courtesy of Box65)

CIRCLEVILLE - A fire in a vacant home on North Pickaway Street on Friday has officials working to deal with the aftermath.

The fire, which was spotted by a neighbor about 1 a.m. July 3, destroyed about 50 percent of the structure of the home at 213 N. Pickaway St., according to Lieutenant Dave Robertson, Circleville Fire Department.

"Right now, it appears to be electrical," Robertson said. "Even though it was an abandoned house, the power still came into the meter base, and that looks like the area of origin. We still have it listed as undetermined, though."

The house had already been condemned by the Pickaway County Building Department and was in the process of foreclosure before the blaze. The value of the property was estimated at $15,000 with a $10,000 loss in the fire.

John Ankrom, city service director, said he is working to get the debris cleared and have the structure boarded up for safety.

"I don't want to have to use taxpayer dollars for that," Ankrom said. "Since it's in foreclosure, the bank technically owns it. They've already had someone in to clean out some of the mess, and I've been talking with them today to get the rest of it taken care of."

Robertson said law enforcement officers on the scene Friday reported no one lived in the house, but it was occupied by vagrants from time to time.

Electricity was knocked out overnight to a neighboring home that shared an electrical line, but Robertson said the damage was otherwise contained to the single structure.

"The guys did a really good job and hit it in the right places to protect exposure and keep it from traveling outside the lines of the property," he said.

The Circleville Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Pickaway Township and Harrison Township fire departments and the Box65 auxiliary unit.

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