FORT JENNINGS – A Fort Jennings family escaped an early morning house fire Monday by crawling out a window and jumping off the roof.
The two-story farmhouse at 20692 Road 18S was fully-engulfed in flames when firefighters from Fort Jennings, Ottoville and Delphos responded at 12:28 a.m. Heavy smoke could be seen pouring from the home.
The home was owned by David and Bettie Hess.
Richard Walters, Hess’ son-in-law, recalled what happened.
“We had shut everything down for the night and we all laid down about 8 to 8:30. David (Hess) woke up. It was around midnight and (David) saw the smoke and he started to get up to investigate and realized there was a fire. He yelled at me to get up, went back up to get his wife and they had to crawl out the window and jump off,” said Walters. “I had to hurry up and get the window open and get the screen out of it and I had to jump out. The only thing I was able to take was my cell phone.”
The occupants of the home suffered minor injuries and were taken to a Lima hospital for treatment.
No dollar figure of damages was immediately available and no cause for the blaze was reported. Damage spread to a detached garage and a vehicle parked in the driveway of the home.
It appears the fire may have started in the kitchen.
The home was equipped with working smoke detectors.
“Most of us in this household, we’re kind of heavy sleepers, so it takes a bit to wake us,” Walters said.
Late Monday, they were out trying to salvage whatever they could from the rubble.
“We’ve only lived here maybe just a little bit over a year. We’re going to really get anything we can and we’re going to just coordinate with the insurance (company), fire marshal in trying to get everything squared away so hopefully we can get this mess out of here and rebuild,” Walters said.