Firefighters Battle Flames At Vacant Home That Was Set To Be Sold

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UPDATED: Wednesday March 27, 2013 6:27 PM

Firefighters battled flames at a vacant home in Reynoldsburg early Wednesday.

According to fire officials, the fire appeared to have started on the back porch. The roof now threatens to cave in.

Homeowner Alan Stanley said the home was vacant and there was no logical explanation as to how the fire started.

“There's no electric. No gas. It's vacant. Fires don't start by themselves, so I don't know,” Stanley said.

Stanley said he frequently checks on the property and has never seen signs of squatters or children playing around the building.

At daylight Wednesday, arson investigators searched the debris for clues.

The homeowner said that no matter the cause, the timing could not be worse.

Stanley says no one has lived in this house for six months. He said it was for sale and in contract.

Now, there's nothing left but a charred mess.

“It was going to be finalized soon, and now it's burned up,” Stanley said.

The homeowner said he hopes investigators can provide answers.  

For now, there is nothing he can do except call his insurance agent.

Representatives from the Columbus Board of Realtors say there are several steps property owners can take to protect a vacant home that is on the market.

Make sure your neighbors know the home is empty and ask someone to collect junk mail.

Request local law enforcement to check on the property, and if possible, leave a light on a timer inside the home, and leave up blinds or window coverings.  

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