NEW MANCHESTER - A couple's home of 20 years was destroyed by fire Monday afternoon on Arner Road.
Gary Grimes and his wife, Cindy, were both working at the time, only to be summoned home to find smoke pouring from their house and firefighters from four Hancock County departments on their front lawn.
Grimes consoled his wife, who was visibly shaken by the scene. Soon, neighbors arrived to console the couple.
CAUSE UNKNOWN — Volunteer firefighters from Newell and New Manchester fought a house fire at 568 Arner Road on Monday afternoon. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by New Manchester. -- Stephen Huba
"You get a lot of stuff in 20 years," said Grimes, who works for Ergon Trucking Inc.
Firefighters received the call at 2:09 p.m. Monday, when a neighbor apparently saw smoke and called 911, said Newell Assistant Fire Chief Tim Steele.
When firefighters arrived at 568 Arner Road, flames were shooting through the roof, Steele said.
"The guys were trying to gain some access, but they had difficulty at first" because portions of the house were near collapse, he said.
Firefighters from Newell and New Manchester battled the blaze for more than an hour, approaching the house from several different directions. At one point, the fire looked to be under control when flames reappeared in a different part of the house. Pumper trucks were used to supply water. Lawrenceville and New Cumberland volunteer fire departments responded with mutual aid.
Grimes said he and his wife had lived in the single-story house for 20 years. He said he had no idea how the fire could have started.
The house was considered a total loss, Steele said.
New Manchester Fire Chief Roger Stewart said the cause of the fire is undetermined and still under investigation.
No injuries were reported.
(Huba can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)