Firefighters spent a frigid night extinguishing a fire in Shawneetown that destroyed a home at 230 W. Marshall St.
Shawneetown Fire Chief Terry Golden said firefighters received a call at 3:26 a.m. Monday reporting the house fire and neighbors said they believed the owner — Donnie Alexander — was still inside the burning structure. Alexander was not at home at the time.
"We did an interior attack to get to him. In 20 minutes a Shawneetown Police officer was able to track him down at a friend's home," Golden said.
Shawneetown arrived in five minutes with four pumper trucks and two tanker trucks and called for help from Ridgway and Equality fire department with pumpers and manpower. Old Shawneetown responded with a pumper and manpower to cover the Shawneetown Fire Station.
"We didn't really have any problems other than the temperatures. When it gets this cold as soon as you squirt the water it turns to ice," Golden said.
The National Weather Service reports the temperature at the Harrisburg-Raleigh Airport this morning was between 21 and 16 degrees with a wind chill as low as 6 degrees.
Gallatin County/Med-Force EMS had an ambulance on standby, but Golden said no one fell down on the ice.
The ambulance crew checked in on a neighbor who uses an oxygen tank due to the heavy smoke in the neighborhood, but the neighbor appeared to be fine.
"At one time you couldn't see anything. Smoke covered the whole block," Golden said.
The house was a total loss, Golden said.
Golden said the house was one of the Old Shawneetown houses relocated to Shawneetown when the town moved after the 1937 flood. It had been added onto three times.
Another house 15 feet away to the east suffered some melting vinyl siding.
Firefighters remained on the scene until 6:45 a.m.
Golden said Shawneetown Police and Shawneetown Fire Department are investigating the cause of the fire.