By Jill Gosche
Personnel from four fire departments were summoned to a house fire in Big Spring Township Saturday night.
Carey, McCutchenville and NBS fire, and Sycamore fire and EMS responded to the fire at the two-story house at 7460 CR 59.
NBS Chief Jim Kelbley said the fire started in the basement. He said he suspected an older box fan, which was being used for air movement in a hallway in the basement, shorted out.
State Fire Marshal's Office was called in to help determine the cause, which was not suspicious, he said.
Kelbley said when firefighters arrived on scene, the basement was full of flames, and the smoke was thick. Firefighters caught the fire before it got through the walls. He estimated firefighters had the fire knocked down in 20 minutes.
"(The) fire was contained to the basement," he said.
Kelbley said the residents were home at the time of the fire and got out safely. A firefighter suffered a minor bruise on his hand and was treated at the scene, he said.
"He'll be OK," he said.
Kelbley estimated damage at up to $18,000. The basement sustained extensive damage, and the rest of the house had smoke damage, he said.
He said he did not know the number of firefighters who responded. North Central Electric Cooperative also had a crew at the scene.
Robert Schmitz, owner of the property, expressed appreciation for firefighters' help.
A Seneca County Sheriff's Office spokesman said the office received a 911 call about the fire at 10:18 p.m. Saturday.