Fairfield Co. family in shock after home is destroyed by fire


Flames engulfed a house in Fairfield County and it appears to be a total loss.

A family arrived Wednesday evening to find their home and their beloved pet gone.

The Berne Township Fire Chief in Sugar Grove says thankfully, no one was home at the time of the fire, because this could have been a much different story.

Flames were so massive, nearly 50 firefighters from seven different fire departments were called in to help.

A nearby pond was used to get the fire out at the rural home as quickly as possible.

“The initial call said that there were explosions,” Berne Township Fire chief, David Hammond said. “When we got here to the fire, the front part of the house was fully involved.”

Officials hoped was that no one was inside as the fire quickly ripped through the house.

“Thankfully it wasn't a very hot day today,” Hammond said.

“We have nothing, everything is gone, there is nothing salvageable in the house,” Hilary Skeens said.

Skeens, who said the family recently into the home, is in total disbelief.

“My kids don't even have clothes,” Skeens said. “[But] things can be replaced.”

Although no human lives were lost, as fire fighters got a handle on the blaze, they did find a member of the family who didn't make it.

“They really loved that dog, and I dread the thought of telling them,” Skeens said.

Their 1-year-old Great Dane didn’t make it out.

Skeens and her husband were at work as the fire destroyed their home.

Skeens is an EMT with the Berne Township fire department, as well as an ER Tech at Fairfield Medical Center. Her husband is an officer at Fairfield Medical Center.

She said her husband heard their own address read across police scanners.

“I went and got my phone and looked at it and saw that it was our address,” Skeens said. “But, we're all alive. You know a lot of people don't make it. I'm thankful that we all are still here.”

Chief Hammond said because of the size of the fire, the state fire marshal’s office has been called in to investigate the cause.