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Fire destroys abandoned home

May. 02, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Mary Workman said all she heard was a loud boom, and all she saw were flames shooting up into the air when an abandoned home in the 2700 block of 9th Avenue caught fire Wednesday night.

Workman, who lives a little more than a block away from the scene of the fire said she was helping her mother into their home at about 8:50 p.m. when she happened to look in the direction of the now-destroyed house.

"I felt the heat from here," she said. "You know how usually you will see the smoke before you see the fire? All I saw was fire shooting straight up through those trees. The smoke didn't come until a lot later."

The home was fully involved in fire when fire crews arrived on the scene, said Huntington Deputy Fire Chief J.S. Earl.

The fire from the house was so hot that Earl said firefighters had to be cautious about pulling their fire engines too close to the burning structure.

"We wanted to make sure we didn't melt the bulbs out of the lights on the trucks," Earl said. "As soon as we turned out of the station to come here, we could see it. We saw it burning from far away."

The fire did melt a portion of siding off of a home across the street from the fire.

Earl said the structure, which has been abandoned for at least five years, had been completely gutted to its wooden bones, which was a big reason the fire became so big so quickly.

The house was completely destroyed by the fire.

There also was concern about low power lines near the home, and Earl said AEP crews were on the scene repairing at least one downed line.

Huntington Police Officers were on the scene while crews battled the blaze, largely for crowd and traffic control.

Earl could not confirm that the fire would be ruled suspicious Wednesday night, but detectives from HPD were called to the scene. Earl said the house had absolutely no utility connections at the time of the blaze.

Workman, who said she has lived at her home along 26th Street for about a year, said multiple abandoned homes in the neighborhood have burned down in that time.

"It bothers me because I live here with my family," she said. "I just want this to stop."