FREDERICKTOWN — High winds early this morning caused flames from a burning garage on West Sandusky Street in Fredericktown to jump to two neighboring houses.
The homes, owned by Don McLaughlin and Bob Collins, both sustained damage, but were saved by firefighters. The McLaughlin garage was destroyed by the fire.
A neighbor across the street from 227 W. Sandusky St. woke up, noticed a glow showing in the garage and called 9-1-1. Fredericktown fire crews arrived to find the garage fully involved in fire, and the fire spreading to the house at the same address as well as the house next door.
“When I arrived, the winds were blowing the fire onto both houses,” Fredericktown Fire Chief Scott Mast said. “Obviously the high winds contributed to the spread of the flames.”
Fredericktown Police Chief Jerry Day said Officer Nick Holdren responded just ahead of the fire department. Day said Holdren made sure two people in the McLaughlin home got out of the house.
Mast said the Collins home was empty because the family is on vacation.
Fourteen firefighters from the Fredericktown Community Fire District responded with two engines and a rescue truck. A mutual aid engine company with three firefighters was called in from the Mount Vernon Fire Department.
Mast said a hydrant directly in front of the homes was used to obtain water to fight the fire.
“Our initial attack was on the McLaughlin house, and the second was on the Collins house,” Mast said. “The third attack was on the garage.”
The fire damage at the Collins residence was limited to the siding, eaves and a small part of the attic, according to Mast. He added that the building, although damaged, is still inhabitable.
The damage at the McLaughlin home was more extensive.
“There was moderate damage,” Mast said. “The fire involved an enclosed back porch and started into a bedroom.”
The fire was contained in about an hour and a half, according to Mast. He said the McLaughlin home did have a working smoke detector.
The cause of the fire is undetermined and remains under investigation.