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Morning fire destroys vacant house

PERRY TOWNSHIP — An already hot and steamy day became all the worse Wednesday for firefighters from three area departments.

An empty house on Township Road 300, also known as Castle Drive, caught fire near 8 a.m. and sustained heavy damage.

“My husband left to go to work and that was at six-something,” said Loretta Thomas, who owns the house with her husband, Calvin. “I went back to bed and then got up about 8 o’clock and saw smoke. I went and got my son and by the time he got to it the whole place was smoked up.”

Thomas said the house was once occupied by Calvin Thomas’ mother, Eliza Blankenship, who died nearly two years ago. After she died other family members lived in the house but they moved out a few weeks ago.

Perry Township was assisted in battling the blaze by both Upper Township and Coal Grove fire departments.

Information on the cause of the fire was not available at press time.