Shenandoah House Fire 4/11/19

(Shenandoah) -- Fire officials say high winds fueled a fire that engulfed structures near Shenandoah late Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Firefighters from Shenandoah and other communities battled the fire at 485 Manti Road. Shenandoah Fire Chief Ron Weston tells KMA News fire trucks rolled after the first call came in at around 4:30 p.m.

"By the time we got pulling out of the station," said Weston, "we could see smoke rolling from Shenandoah on the way out here. As soon as the first truck arrived on the scene, seeing how intense everything was, we put out a request to get a hold of Riverton, Farragut, Sidney and Essex for manpower and water support."

While the exact cause has not been determined, Weston says the fire started in a barn, then was spread by the fierce winds.

"The way the wind was blowing, it's almost like a blowtorch," he said. "Once that fire got started, the wind kind of changed directions a little bit. We're thinking that it started in the garage, then it moved to the house, then backfired over to the barn--which was to the east of the garage. Then, there was another building to the north of the barn quite a ways that also caught fire."

Weston says the winds forced firefighters into a defensive mode most of the way.

"With the winds blowing as bad as it was," said Weston, "there's no way we were going to bring this fire under control. So, basically, it was to surrounding it, protect the surrounding area. We had a couple of trees that started on fire from embers. Then, two or three times, we had grass fires from the embers that were blown away."

The house's occupants escaped safely, and no injuries were reported. A relief effort has been established for the family victimized by the fire. Monetary donations can be sent the Brad and Angela Maher account at Century Bank in Shenandoah.

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