Fire destroys unoccupied home

WATERTOWN – A Watertown woman awoke early Friday morning to discover a fire at the home next door.
Jan 4, 2014

WATERTOWN – A Watertown woman awoke early Friday morning to discover a fire at the home next door.

Watertown volunteer fire Chief John Jewell said the woman’s pets woke her up at about 2:30 a.m. when she discovered the fire. He said no one was living at the home on 223 Woodland St.

Jewell said about 14 firefighters, including two Wilson Emergency Management Agency firefighters attached to the department, responded and battled the blaze until it was under control about 45 minutes later. He said firefighters remained on the scene until about 10 a.m., putting out hot spots and watching for flare ups.

“We had a northwesterly wind that did cause some concern,” Jewell said. “There was a home about 150 feet away and another home 60 feet away.”

He said both nearby homes, including the one where the woman lived, briefly caught on fire and suffered some siding damage.

The woman who reported the fire, along with her pets, were evacuated, but she returned later Friday morning, Jewell said.

Jewell said a shed behind the home that burned caught on fire and was destroyed about three weeks ago. He said no one was living in the home, and the electricity was also not connected.

But Jewell said he doesn’t suspect arson.

“I wouldn’t go that far,” he said. “We don’t investigate as a fire department. Anytime no one is in the home and there is no power, it does raise some red flags, but not in this case. As far as I know, there was no insurance on the home.”

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