SFD fights Christmas Day blaze

SALEM – Drew Hannay had just visited some relatives on Christmas night when a neighbor called to say his home at 583 W. Pershing St. was on fire.

“When she called me, she said the fire was coming out of my bedroom window,” he said as smoke continued to pour from the two-story structure.

No cause has been determined for the Wednesday night blaze, but Salem Fire Lt. Jeff Olinger said the State Fire Marshal’s office will be called to the scene due to the significant amount of damage.

Hannay lives alone and wasn’t home when the fire started. He said he wasn’t gone long and was just leaving his uncle’s house when the call came from the neighbor. According to Olinger, the call came in as a structure fire with possible entrapment.

Hannay said another neighbor, who is a firefighter with Perry Township, saw a light on and thought maybe he was in there. He didn’t know what could have happened, saying he thought it looked like maybe it started in his computer room, but he didn’t really know.

He said he had a candle burning earlier in the day, but he thought that was out. He’s planning on staying with his dad, Rob, who was also on the scene with him. The house was insured.

“The whole house is damaged,” he said.

Olinger said there was heavy fire damage on the first floor which extended into the second floor. When asked why the State Fire Marshal was being called, he explained that anytime there is a fire with significant damage, they are asked to call them for assistance in the investigation.

The firefighters on duty had been on another emergency call when they were dispatched for the structure fire. The call came at 7:03 p.m., according to dispatch, with the whole department called to respond and mutual aid coming from the Perry Township Fire Department. KLG Ambulance also responded, but no injuries were reported.

The police department provided traffic control. Ohio Edison responded to disconnect the power.