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News in brief – 3/13/09

House fire cause undetermined

CROWN CITY — The cause of a fire at a single-family house in Crown City is still undetermined, according to the state fire marshal’s office. The blaze originated in the bedroom of the house at 15998 State Route 7 at around 2 p.m. Wednesday.“Investigators are continuing interviews and waiting on test results from evidence submitted to the Division of State Fire Marshal Forensic Laboratory in Reynoldsburg,” Shane Cartmill, public information officer, said.

There was no one at home at the time and no injuries were reported.

Ironton Bridge to close March 18-19

IRONTON — As part of regular maintenance programs, the Ironton-Russell and U.S. Grant bridges will undergo a series of inspections in the following weeks, requiring daytime closures of both structures.

On Wednesday and Thursday, March 18 and 19, the Ironton-Russell Bridge will be closed during daytime, business hours, while the U.S. Grant Bridge will be closed on Wednesday, March 25, in order for crews to conduct load testing.

The work will be performed by a team from the University of Cincinnati Infrastructure Institute, who will measure truck loads to assess and confirm the load rating analysis for each bridge. Along with other regularly scheduled inspections, these tests are part of the department’s maintenance and research program for bridges maintained by ODOT.

While the inspections are under way on the scheduled days, the bridges will be closed to traffic from approximately 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., with the structures open to traffic at all other times when crews are at work.

Traffic from the Ironton-Russell Bridge in Lawrence County will be detoured by way of U.S. Route 52 and the Ashland, Ky., bridge east of Coal Grove, while traffic from the U.S. Grant Bridge in Scioto County will be detoured by way of U.S. 52 and the Carl Perkins Bridge, west of Portsmouth.

Coal Grove home destroyed by fire

COAL GROVE — Firefighters from four separate departments were needed Thursday to combat a blaze fueled by natural gas that destroyed a Marion Pike home.

The two-story, single-family home, located at 841 Marion Pike, is considered a total loss, said Coal Grove Fire Chief Gary Sherman.

Sherman added that the home was insured and listed damage estimates at “well over $100,000.”

Firefighters from Upper Township, Perry Township and Ironton assisted in putting out the fire. The County Tanker Task Force also responded. The fire was fire reported at 6:18 p.m.

Sherman said a preliminary investigation points to the fire starting in a heating unit located under the home and that once ignited, was fueled by natural gas the unit operated on.

At the height of the blaze, Sherman said the fire was “blowing through all the heating ducts” due to the presence of natural gas. Gas was shut off at the meter located outside the home once firefighters arrived.

Sherman said it took firefighters one hour to get the blaze under control and an additional five hours to totally extinguish the fire.

None of the occupants were injured, however a Coal Grove firefighter was hurt while taking on the blaze. Sherman said the firefighter suffered a broken hand climbing a stairway to the second floor when a handrail gave way. He was treated and released.

No other structures or property were damaged in the blaze.

— By Jim Sullivan