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South Point home destroyed by fire

SOUTH POINT – South Point Volunteer Fire Department crews battled an early afternoon blaze Tuesday as flames ripped through the second floor of a South Point home.

Wednesday, January 31, 2001

SOUTH POINT – South Point Volunteer Fire Department crews battled an early afternoon blaze Tuesday as flames ripped through the second floor of a South Point home.

Firefighters responded to the 221 Solida Road home after receiving a Lawrence County 911 call at 11:58 a.m. and began their initial attack on the fire within a few short minutes of the dispatch, Assistant Chief Tom Daniels said.

John Craft and his family were inside the home when the fire started and escaped without injuries.

"The second floor of the home was fully engulfed upon our arrival, from what the guys tell me," Daniels said. "Upon my arrival, flames were coming out the rear windows."

The fire began in the upstairs of the home and spread to several other areas of the house, he said.

Firefighters worked to dampen the blaze for more than 65 minutes, but were confronted with other problems, the assistant chief said.

"They knocked the initial flame down rather quickly, but due to the age of the house, it gave us typical problems of fighting the fire," Daniels said.

In addition, Craft’s wife, Elizabeth, was found trapped outside the home in her van, Daniels said.

"She was in her van parked in their driveway when a power line fell across the van," he said. "We were not sure if the wire was live or not, but she had to stay inside the van until the power company arrived shortly thereafter."

The downed power line "posed a slight problem" for firefighters during the initial attack, he added.

Mrs. Craft did not receive any injuries from the incident, Daniels said.

The Coal Grove, Burlington-Fayette and Perry Township volunteer fire departments were called to the scene to assist during the fire.

Though details of the fire are still sketchy, officials may have pinpointed the initial cause of the blaze, Daniels said.

"As far as we can tell at this point, a child was playing with a lighter," Daniels said. "It appears that’s what started the fire."

He said the incident provides a "classic example" of an old familiar message.

"I want the message to go out that children and matches and lighters cause fires," he said. "They just don’t mix."

The house is being considered a total loss, he added.

"The family may be able to salvage a few personal items from the first floor, but they lost most of everything else," he said.