ANTWERP — Ten fire departments assisted with a house fire northwest of here late Friday morning and into the afternoon.
One Paulding firefighter was also overcome by the heat and humidity while fighting the fire and was taken to Community Memorial Hospital in Hicksville for observation.
The two-story brick farmhouse at 1943 Carryall Township Road 220 was heavily damaged, and is owned by David and Laura Bash. The property is located approximately 1.5 miles west of Ohio 49.
According to Paulding County EMA Director Ed Bohn, who was on the scene, the property owners got out of the home without injury. They called in the fire at 10:59 a.m. Friday after noticing smoke in the basement, he explained.
Just after noon heavy smoke could be seen rolling out of a second-floor window on the east side of the home.
“The second floor is the worst, that’s where most of the smoke that I’ve seen (was),” said Bohn around 12:30 p.m. Friday as firefighters continued their work.
The fire got into the home’s walls, ceilings and attic, he said.
“With these old farmhouses there’s nothing to stop them (flames),” said Bohn. “They go right up the wall. It’s called balloon construction.”
The home appeared to be well maintained from the outside, and had sold last summer, according to the Paulding County Auditor’s Office website.
The property has a rural Hicksville address, but is in Paulding County, about two miles northwest of Antwerp. Therefore, the Antwerp Fire Department was the lead responding agency.
However, that department received help from a number of other agencies.
They included the Hicksville, Cecil/Crane Township, Farmer Township, Payne, Paulding, Sherwood and Edgerton fire departments while two Indiana departments — Woodburn and Northeast Allen County Fire and EMS — provided water, according to Bohn. The Van Wert County Community Emergency Response Team also was on the scene. The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office also helped with traffic control.
One issue for firefighters was Friday’s heat and humidity. Temperatures topped 90 degrees by noon.
As firefighters battled the blaze, Bohn said “every time they go in and they come out (of the house) they go over for rehab where normally they would just switch bottles out and be able to go back in. The humidity is worse than the heat is.”
The scene was cleared around 7 p.m. The American Red Cross is helping the family with a play to stay for the next few days.