By JOHN ANDERSON
Five adults are without a place to live after a fire gutted a home at the corner of Hunt Road and County Road 29 Sunday night.
Fire officials said two of the residents were injured and had to be transported to Jones Memorial Hospital for treatment. A total of 11 agencies were at the scene Sunday and Monday.
Also, three dogs and three cats died in the fire. Firefighters were able to save three other dogs, three cats, a guinea pig and two chickens.
Fire investigators said the cause of the fire has been ruled accidental. The fire started at the wood stove. An addition was placed on the home, but that was not in use yet and was not damaged. However, the entire house is not livable.
The American Red Cross is assisting the five adults for initial needs.
One resident had a hand injury when a bottle, possibly an aerosol can, exploded in the heat. Another resident had smoke inhalation. Both were taken by Wellsville Ambulance to Jones Memorial Hospital.
Willing firefighters were toned out at 5:21 p.m. and units were back in service at 11:29 p.m. on Sunday.
During the fire, a guinea pig was saved from the home, but firefighters were not able to save three of the six dogs and also found one cat. During the investigation Monday morning, two more cats were found deceased.
Willing Fire Chief Matthew Whitesell said the back of the home was on fire and the fire was spreading.
“The back corner was fully involved when we arrived,” Whitesell said. “It was a rapid moving fire. But thanks to the training we have all been doing together with other departments, it went very well. Everyone worked great together and there was a swift response from all of the departments. We’ve been working well together for quite a while now.”
Whitesell was assisting resident of the home today as they wanted to see what was salvageable. He did not allow them to go in certain parts of the home because of the structure damage.
Willing was assisted at the scene by fire departments from Wellsville, Alma, Andover, Whitesville and Genesee, Pa. Ambulances were from Wellsville and Andover while the Alfred Station Fast Team 4 worked the scene as well. Fire investigators were at the scene as the Willing Police Department assisted with traffic detail.