By MARGIE NETZEL - firstname.lastname@example.org
GENEVA TOWNSHIP — Fire ripped through a house at 4225 N. Myers Road Sunday afternoon, destroying the 199-year-old home.
Homeowner John Hicks watched helplessly as firefighters from Geneva, Madison, Saybrook Township and Harpersfield Township fire departments battled the blaze for more than two hours. Paramedics from Northwest Ambulance District were also at the scene.
The firefighters cut ventilation holes in the roof and pumped thousands of gallons of water into the structure, but the home was a total loss, Geneva Fire Capt. Tim Parks said.
“I can’t imagine there is much they can do with this structure, and everything inside is completely ruined,” he said.
Parks said the house was “fully engulfed” in flames by the time firefighters arrived at the scene.
“This was a difficult fire to bring under control,” he said, “mostly because of the older construction of the structure. I bet we were on the scene for an hour before the fire was considered under control.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation, Parks said.
Hicks said he was at the store when the fire started and his wife was outside in the yard playing with their children.
“They were just outside enjoying the nice weather and saw the smoke,” he said. “We have no idea why or how this fire got started. We guess it might have been electrical.”
The family has insurance, Hicks said, and will be staying with relatives.
No one was injured in the fire, though the family’s two pet cockatiels died in the blaze.