One of my neighbor's house burned down last night.. unoccupied tho

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greybeard

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Heard the truck sirens around 10pm last night out on the highway and then they shut off but I couldn't tell if they were just out of hearing or shutting off when they turned down the lateral road that runs parallel to my place about 1/4 mile thru thru the woods. Turned out to be the latter. I heard 2 booms not long after the fire trucks went thru, either propane tanks or stored fuel of some kind in the garage. May have been electric pole transformer but my power didn't blink off. One of the old families home place. The old man had died 2 1/2 years ago, his wife was in poor health so his daughter moved her mother in with her about 1/2 mile away. No one living there but they left the power on and grown son and daughter kept the place up for the most part. They didn't want to sell it while their mother was still living, in hindsight they probably should have. House was already old when we bought here in the 60s but not one of those 120 yr old places. A shame to see it go nonetheless. A cold front came thru yesterday afternoon, with t-storms, lightening, 2 inches of driving rain and wind so no telling what may have happened earlier in the day .Fire depts here are just to keep the fire from spreading so not much chance saving it.
Hard to guess what caused it but probably wiring, since it was unoccupied. Squirrels, mice and rats move in and eat the insulation off the wires and PooF! up it goes. Bad time of year to have it happen too.
 
Lightening most likely. I have seen it take hours for a lightening strike fire to show itself. It being unoccupied, it had time to grow before someone saw the flames and called the fire department.
 
It's rough, I've always heard it was not good to leave a house uninhabited as they degrade.
If I were going to leave one uninhabited for any long length of time, I would have the utilities cut off, and drain the water out of the lines and water heater.
 
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They now think it was a result of a burglary. I heard yesterday, that the owner's son "reported' a gun safe was missing and a door appears to have been kicked in. This son is in his early 60s and well respected in the neighborhood.
I find that burglary thing a little hard to believe, considering the neighborhood. A well traveled dead end road, with the mailboxes for the entire neighborhood just a couple 100 yards farther up the road and at the end of the road, the High Sheriff's house.
 
As I understand it, home owners insurance had been dropped about 6-8 months after the old guy died and mom moved in with daughter.
As far as the door being 'kicked in' , the neighbor that first saw the fire kicked it in to try to make sure no one was inside and tried to put the fire out but it was too far along. He's the one that called 911. (He also crashed the front gate with his pickup to get to the house. )

We as neighbors, will all pitch in to help clean the place up later on.
Like most VFDs, ours is primarily there to prevent a fire from spreading and perhaps to rescue anyone. By the time they get to a fire, it's too far advanced to save the structure. Not their fault tho. It's just part of rural life.
 
They now think it was a result of a burglary. I heard yesterday, that the owner's son "reported' a gun safe was missing and a door appears to have been kicked in. This son is in his early 60s and well respected in the neighborhood.
I find that burglary thing a little hard to believe, considering the neighborhood. A well traveled dead end road, with the mailboxes for the entire neighborhood just a couple 100 yards farther up the road and at the end of the road, the High Sheriff's house.
Can't put anything past a burglar. One of the first things that the fire marshal told us was to lock the yard gate of our tenant house that recently burnt. He said it was very common for people to go in situations like that to see what they could find. A couple days after that fire, I discovered that a gate going into a hayfield and barn on that property had been pushed open. At first I thought I had just forgot and left it open when going to feed the bulls, but that's not like me to do that. The fasten had been damaged. Shouldn't be anything of any interest in the barn there, but did find a cigarette by the barn doors, and nobody should have been around there that smokes since the summer when they put up hay There has been all kinds of suspicious activity over the years in that area, and a policeman lives just a little ways up the road from there.
 

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