A very large older home went up in ball of fire Friday afternoon on Fruitvale Lane, about half-way between Newport and Toledo. No one was home at the time but some lucky rabbits were rescued by a neighbor. However, the fate of two family dogs inside were not immediately known.
When firefighters pulled up they told other fire crews racing to the scene that there was lots of smoke pouring out from under the eaves, indicating that the fire was well developed inside the house.
As it turned out, the home had lots of furnishings and other household items inside it. One neighbor said she’d heard that the owner, Katie Moran Gaulstan, had been planning to open an antique/collectibles sort of shop. But of course, that’s all gone now, along with the house.
Because it was so full of material the house stayed inflamed for hours. Firecrews are staying with it all night to ensure it doesn’t rekindle and ignite the nearby woods or a home just to the east.
The home was at 110 Fruitvale Lane, the fourth house west of the intersection with Fruitvale Road. It was a large two story blue structure.
Saturday morning fire wrecking crews are expected to begin pulling the remnants of the house apart to ensure that the fire is not still lurking in the considerable pile of debris. They’ll drag out debris, hose it down, then pull out more debris, hose it down…until it’s all done.
Fire departments up and down the county are expected to remain on alert in case the fire re-erupts. Firefighters will be vigilant because the house backs right up against some very thick woods. And since it’s been a long dry summer so it wouldn’t take much for those woods to take off if cinders drifted off between the trees. Fortunately lots of rain and fog are forecasted for the area over the next week.
No word yet on what caused the blaze.