LIMA — A Lima woman lost her home and her dog to a fire Thanksgiving afternoon.
The woman, who neighbors only knew as “Judy,” was not injured in the fire and wasn't home at the time her single-story, yellow home,661 N. West St., went up in flames.
Lima Fire Department responded to the fire around 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Firefighters threw charred coffee tables and other burnt items out the front window while they worked to put the fire out. Light gray smoke covered the area for a one-block radius. Neighbors stood outside worriedly watching, making sure Judy was in fact, not in the home.
The woman, who returned to the home around 2:30 p.m., covered her face when she saw the state of her home and broke down into tears after she received the news her dog died in the blaze.
“There was nobody inside at the time, but we did find one dog that was deceased inside,” Lima Fire Assistant Chief Greg Kirkendall said.
Kirkendall said the fire started in the front living room. The cause was unknown Thursday afternoon, he said.
“At this point, I don’t really have an idea of damages. It’s going to be pretty much a complete loss,” he said.
The house is valued at $32,300 on the Allen County Auditor’s website. The owners are listed as Anthony F.and Deborah A. Cumella, but they have a different address listed.
Bill Gary, who has lived down the street for 27 years, said the woman had been living at the residence for at least seven to eight years.
“When I walked down here, the flames were shooting out that front window about 8 or 9 feet out of that front window and completely busted it out,” he said, looking at the house. “And that heat, you could feel it when you walked up.”
Neighbors said the woman had left in a truck half an hour before the fire broke out. They also said she had many trinkets and nice things inside the house, all of which are now gone.
“To lose everything you have, especially on Thanksgiving, that’s really hard,” Gary said. “I’m just really happy she wasn’t in there at the time, but we’ll hopefully be here to support her and help her through it.”