PIKE TOWNSHIP — Two homes were destroyed Tuesday after a woman fell asleep while smoking.
Fredericktown Community Fire District was called to a structure fire at 18461 Mishey Road Tuesday around 3:30 p.m. Mutual aid was immediately requested with response from College Township Fire Department, Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District, Jefferson and Worthington township fire departments in Richland County and Johnsville Fire Department from Morrow County. Fredericktown EMS also provided assistance.
“Getting all of the additional resources out there to fight two house fires at once in that particular area is a challenge,” said Fire Chief Scott Mast.
“The lack of firefighters initially available hindered the attack on the fire.”
Mast said the initial responders started to slow the fire and made effort to keep it from spreading to a neighboring residence. When additional staffing arrived, firefighters entered the home.
High winds and the inability to shut off natural gas meters added to the severity of the fire, which ultimately spread to the second house. The cause of the fire was determined to be a cigarette igniting a chair.
“The occupant in the house to the west fell asleep smoking in her chair, woke up to the chair on fire, attempted to put the fire out and was unsuccessful,” said Mast. “She managed to get herself out before we arrived on scene but did suffer burns.”
She was transferred to Mansfield Med Central and later taken to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
The home of the original call is owned by Sheryl Foor. The fire spread to the home owned by Charles Junior and Rebecca Davis.
The American Red Cross is assisting the families.
A total of 18 firefighters and five cadets responded to the call by the time the scene was complete.