Officials: Rural blaze started in fireplace
TURTLE TOWNSHIP When Terry Blue let his dog out one last time before going to bed Tuesday, he heard a roaring sound.
That's when Blue discovered there was a fire in his chimney, and that it had spread into the log-sided single-story of his ranch-style home.
"I don't know what started it, but it started somewhere in the fireplace and probably in between the fireplace and chimney on the outside wall," said Tim Huffman, town of Turtle fire chief.
Blue reported the fire at 11:03 p.m. Tuesday at his home, 11008 S. Reimer Road.
Huffman said flames were visible 2 miles away.
"As we were responding, the homeowners said windows were breaking," Huffman said.
The Blues said after they got out of the house they heard a big boom that pushed the windows in the house out 2 inches and blew out the front window of the door. Drywall in the ceiling collapsed in the bedroom and living room, Huffman said.
"It (the fire) was going for some time before it was even discovered, and by the time I got there the attic was involved," he said.
"When I pulled up that attic was just cooking, and the smoke was pumping out of the vent in the attic," Huffman said. "It was pretty unbelievable."
Blue and his wife, the sole occupants of the home, were outside the house sitting in a car and watching firefighters from 13 southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois fire departments fight the blaze. An estimated $60,000 in damage was done to their $120,000 home.
Nobody was hurt in the fire, Huffman said.
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