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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
The 422 E. Perry St. Pittsfield home of Scott Koch is a total loss after it caught fire Sunday afternoon.
According to Pittsfield Fire Chief Jason White, the apparent accidental fire started on the north side of the home.
“The fire is still under investigation, but it appears to be more accidental than anything,” White said. “It started in the rear of the structure.”
White said firefighting efforts were hampered, because the blaze was well underway by the time the department received the call to respond to the fire.
“It had such a head start on us,” White said. “When we arrived, the structure was fully engulfed on the west and fully engulfed in the back.”
The fire’s rapid progress through the house, White said, in addition to specific features of the home, added to the challenges of fighting the fire.
“There were some structural things that made it a little harder on us,” White said. “The fire had already extended to the attic. With the metal roof on the structure, it holds in the heat and makes it into an oven.”
Koch, according to White, was home at the time of the fire.
“He was home,” White said. “He had just gone back into the kitchen with his plate after dinner. The kitchen and dining room suffered the worst damage.”
White said that, while the home is a total loss, Koch and his pet made it out unharmed.
“I really hate it for Mr. Koch,” White said. “He and the dog barely made it out.”
After it became apparent the home was likely lost to the fire, efforts turned to preventing the fire’s spread.
“We focused on limiting the damage to the houses on either side of the structure,” White said.
Aiding in the firefighting efforts were the Griggsville, North Pike and East Pike fire departments.
The Pittsfield Fire Department was called back to the home at approximately 10:30 p.m., after the fire reignited.
While expressing disappointment at the loss of the home, White credited the actions of Pike County fire fighters to prevent the fire from causing injury and any additional damage.
“I hate losing,” White said. “I know walking away, it was a little bit of a downer. Everything went smooth, but it just had such a head start on us.”