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Cause of Perry fire unknown

April 10, 2012

PERRY TWP. -The cause of a fire at a Jones Drive residence Friday night has been deemed undetermined, although possibly electrical, according to Perry Township Fire Chief Bruce Whitcher.

He said it was difficult to determine what happened due to the concentration and severity of damage in the kitchen, garage and basement area of the one-story home owned by Tom and Erzsebet Bailey.

Tom Bailey and his dog escaped injury after a neighbor alerted them that the house was on fire. He said he was in a back room exercising. His wife was not home. Whitcher said the home was a total loss, but was insured. He had no dollar amount for the damages.

Firefighters had to be pulled out after the floor on the main level of the house was determined unsafe due to the rafters underneath burning.

The fast-moving fire was already in the basement and had spread into the attic when firefighters arrived. The attached garage was also in flames, with a Jeep inside destroyed. Siding on a neighbor's house was melted from the heat.

During the Perry Township Trustees' meeting Monday, Whitcher reported a pike pole and a self-contained breathing apparatus mask were both damaged during the fire. Trustees gave approval for

replacement of the equipment with an estimated cost of $140 for the mask and $100 for the pole.

During trustee comments, Chairman Cliff Mix gave some praise to the fire department for their efforts at the fire Friday night, noting he was on the scene and saw what they were battling.

He also asked residents to come out to support the firefighters during the volunteer department's all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon April 21 at the North station, 2198 N. Ellsworth Ave., Salem. The cost is $5.50 for adults, $4 for children ages 6 and up and free for children 5 and under.

Mary Ann Greier can be reached at



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