highland township fire

Firefighters from four area departments helped battle a fire Tuesday at 26270 Eunice Ave., south of Dohoney Road. The fire destroyed a garage and contents, while the severely damaged home was characterized as a “total loss.”

A Highland Township residence south of Defiance was destroyed by fire Tuesday along with its garage and contents on Eunice Avenue.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 5:36 p.m., with Highland Township in the lead. They and Defiance firefighters arrived about the same time to find the rental residence — owned by Dallas and Tammy Taylor — fully engulfed.

“When we left our station we could see the flames and smoke from our station (in Ayersville),” said Highland Township Assistant Fire Chief Matt Hannenkrath. “When we got there, there was no garage. It was already down.”

“We had full fire involvement in the garage and extension into the house,” explained Defiance Fire Capt. Todd Ham. “We had some of the exposure to the right side of that being threatened. There was a lot of heat.”

Both firefighters characterized the damage as a “total loss.”

South Richland firefighters also joined the effort while Continental Fire Department provided a tanker.

Heavy smoke could be seen rolling from the home’s roof not long after the garage was destroyed. Flames burst through the roof of the one-story residence as the roof collapsed and firefighters cut holes into the structure to pour water onto the blaze.

”It had a lot of attic involvement,” said Ham. “It got up and ran the attic. When you have fire above in the attic, the only way to get to it is cut the gable ends ... .”

With the garage destroyed and the fire extending into the home, firefighters were forced to adopt a defensive mode. They also removed siding from a neighbor’s house and extinguished some embers there.

A neighbor called in the fire.

The fire brought down power lines behind the home and interrupted electrical power to four homes south of Dohoney Road, according to Hannenkrath.

Highland Township firefighters were still on the scene at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday checking for hotspots, he said.

The American Red Cross was called to the scene because the resident’s two occupants were displaced.

Firefighters also called in the Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office to investigate, which is routine in any fire.

An investigator was expected to visit the home today.

“We believe it started in the garage,” said Hannenkrath. “The fire marshal has been called. He will make a determination of where it started.”

The Defiance County Sheriff’s Office also assisted at the scene of the fire on Tuesday.

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