FREDERICKTOWN — Cracks in a chimney let flames from a fireplace burn through and set a house on Green Valley Road on fire Saturday night.
“I walked into the living room where the fireplace was burning and smelled smoke,” home occupant Anita Nickles said.
Looking around for fire, Amy and Zack Austin, friends who were visiting Nickles, went outside and saw flames around the chimney.
Nickles called 9-1-1 and said she pulled all of the fire and coals from the fireplace while Zack Austin threw buckets of water on the fire around the chimney. The Fredericktown Community Fire Department, which got the call at 10:30 p.m., arrived and quickly put out the fire. Fire Chief Scott Mast said the wood sheathing and siding were all that was burning when firefighters arrived.
Firefighers cut away shingles around the chimney to see whether fire had gotten into the structure of the house, but there was no damage other than to the sheathing and siding. Mast estimates the damage at $3,000.
The home is owned by Marvin and Carolyn Litzenberg of Loudonville. Nickles said one side of the house is about 200 years old. The other side, where the fireplace is located, was built in 1960.
Nickles told Mast there are two smoke detectors in the house, one upstairs without a battery and another in the basement that did not sound an alarm. She said she heats the house mostly with the fireplace. According to Nickles, there is a fuel oil furnace in the house, but because of a leak in the tank, the valve to it has been closed.
Mast said Nickles could still live in the house.