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Katie Anderson/Observer-Reporter

A house at 445 Vaneal Road in South Franklin Township was destroyed by fire early Friday morning. It rekindled in the afternoon, about 12 hours later.

A family of four was able to escape a devastating house fire in South Franklin Township early Friday morning.

Township fire Chief Fred Hutson said the call came in about 3:35 a.m. for a two-story home, at 445 Vaneal Road, that was on fire.

“The woman woke up to use the bathroom and thought she smelled smoke,” he said Friday morning. “She proceeded further and the smoke got heavier, then she saw flames.”

Without naming the family, Hutson said the woman was able to wake up her family, including her two adult children, and everyone made it safely out of the house. No one reported injuries, he said.

Hutson said when his crews arrived, “most of the first floor was involved, and it was coming through the roof.”

The house, which the family had been renting, was destroyed, Hutson said.

“The roof had collapsed and the floors are burned through in several places,” he said.

Hutson said a detached garage on the property was not damaged.

Just before 8 a.m., about 20 minutes after crews returned to the station, they were called out to the wood frame and brick house again for a rekindle, Hutson said.

“It was just some smoke burning in the foundation,” he said.

Another rekindle happened about 3 p.m., with flames engulfing what was left of the structure.

The state police fire marshal will be investigating the cause, Hutson said Friday morning. It is not believed to be suspicious, he said.

Assisting South Franklin at the scene were fire crews from Morris Township, North Franklin, Claysville and Ambulance & Chair. The Red Cross also responded to assist the family. 

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