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Blaze claims house

Just days before Christmas, an Ironton woman is searching for a new home after an early morning fire destroyed her rental house Saturday.

Saturday, December 18, 1999

Just days before Christmas, an Ironton woman is searching for a new home after an early morning fire destroyed her rental house Saturday.

The house in which Kathy Smith lived at 915 N. Second St. apparently caught fire early that morning, Ironton Fire Department reports said.

"We received a 911 emergency call of a structure fire at 4:30 a.m. and arrived on the scene at 4:43 a.m.," IFD Lt. Jack DeLong said.

Upon arrival, firefighters were greeted by the sight of thick smoke and tall flames coming from the one-story tan house.

"The structure was just about fully involved when we arrived," DeLong said. "We worked to contain the blaze and prevent damage to surrounding homes."

Ms. Smith had safely exited the structure through the rear entrance after a smoke alarm alerted her to the danger, DeLong added.

"(Ms. Smith) was listed as the only occupant," he said. "The home is owned by Stella Est."

Although no injuries were reported, firefighters said the home and all of its contents were destroyed –  a tragedy made worse because of the close proximity to the Christmas holiday.

"Everything –  the house itself and everything inside the house –  was pretty much completely destroyed," DeLong said.

Firefighters worked throughout the early morning hours to contain and extinguish the blaze, successfully protecting neighboring homes from extensive damage from the heat, smoke and flames.

"We were able to keep the fire contained to the one structure," he said. "The surrounding homes may have gotten a little damage from ash or from smoke staining, but the damage was kept to a minimum."

Fire investigators have determined the origin of the fire, but the cause remains under investigation with the state fire marshal’s office and the IFD, DeLong said.

"The report is still incomplete and it will be until a cause is determined," he said. "Right now, they have pinpointed the origin to the kitchen area, but they are still working to determine the cause of the fire."