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Bad to worse: Alexandria, still without power, loses home to fire

ALEXANDRIA -- An early morning fire destroyed a home Thursday that was being heated by a fireplace in Alexandria, where residents are facing a third day without electricity.

Alexandria fire and onlookers
Flames and smoke billow from a structure in Alexandria early Thursday, April 11, 2013, the city's third consecutive day without electricity because of a spring ice and snow storm. (Submitted photo)

ALEXANDRIA -- An early morning fire destroyed a home Thursday that was being heated by a fireplace in Alexandria, where residents are facing a third day without electricity.

According to Alexandria Fire Chief Lyle Tegethoff, the fire was reported at approximately 5:15 a.m., but because of ice-and-snow-filled roads, it took firefighters more than 10 minutes to reach the home at 713 Third St.

"We got here and it was pretty much fully engulfed," Tegethoff said.

There was only one occupant in the home when the fire started, 63-year-old Thomas Boggs, who managed to escape unharmed.

Alexandria, which has been without power since Tuesday because of a spring storm, was already low on water, Tegethoff said. Fire hydrants had no pressure because of the power outage and were unusable.

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The street near the home had to be partially cleared of snow before firefighters could get close enough to deal with the blaze, Tegethoff said.

"There were just problems from the get go," he said.

With the house already engulfed in flames, firefighters worked to keep the blaze from spreading elsewhere, Tegethoff said.

By 10 a.m., the house had been reduced to rubble, ash and smoke. Only the chimney remained standing.

No official cause of the fire has been determined, but Boggs, who reported using his fireplace during the power outage, believes the fire started in the chimney.

Related Topics: ALEXANDRIAWEATHER
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