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Early morning fire guts house

COAL GROVE — An early morning fire has gutted a house at 785 High St. in Coal Grove.

Fire Chief Gary Sherman said it appears the fire was the result of cooking and was accidental in nature. Sherman declined to say who lived in the house but said the four adults who were home at the time managed to escape safely. No firefighters were hurt while battling the blaze. There was some damage to the house next door.

Sherman said he is dismayed that when he called the American Red Cross for help for the family, he was told the Red Cross will not help because the family has homeowner’s insurance.

“I have never heard that before,” Sherman said.

Marilyn Meade, emergency services specialist for the Red Cross, said the family had insurance and was likely to get more assistance from their insurance company.

“We just give a small amount,” Meade said. “If for some reason there was a delay and if they had insurance we might help.”

Coal Grove received mutual aid from fire departments in Upper and Perry townships. The Lawrence County Emergency Medical Services and Coal Grove police also responded to the fire call.

The fire broke out just after 3 a.m. this morning.