An early-morning house fire in Lebanon Monday left a family of five to mourn the loss of their three pets and most of their belongings.
Assistant Fire Chief Jason Baird with the Lebanon Fire Department said the fire department received the call at 7:34 a.m. after a neighbor notified them that they saw smoke coming out of the back of the house, located at 93 Thorne Dr.
The neighbor then told them he saw flames coming out of the home and then kicked in the front door and yelled in to ensure no one was home.
“We got there and determined that no one was home and that there were heavy fire conditions in the front of the structure,” Baird said. “There were pretty much heavy conditions in the entire structure.”
Baird said firefighters made an interior attack and they knew pets were inside the home.
One dog and two cats were lost in the fire.
“We took a lot of heat, so we had to back out and we then fought from the exterior for a while,” Baird said. “Then we went back in and extinguished the fire.”
According to Baird, the family may have been in the process of moving, and there were multiple boxes of belongings set throughout the home.
“They pretty much lost everything,” Baird said.
Baird said that thankfully the three children, ages 13, 9 and 3, were at school and babysitters and both parents, Jason and Amanda Lowder, were at work.
Though the structure is still standing, Baird said not much is left.
“We immediately began overhaul and trying to salvage things,” Baird said. “We then established a connection with the Red Cross and got a case worker there and got all that situated to help the family.”
Additionally, Baird said the local firefighters union contributed $500 to get the family back on their feet. He said local churches, as well as the Spirit of Christmas organization, were getting involved to support and provide for the family.
“They’ve really had an outpouring of help from the community; help has been widespread,” Baird said. “Everything came about pretty quickly; the Red Cross jumped right on it, and we were also able to get them the $500 that day.
Baird said that after an investigation into the “extensive damage,” the cause of the fire was determined to be accidental, with an area of origin in one of the south bedrooms.