A huge fire destroyed two houses and damaged two more in the 6900 block of Torrington Drive, Franklin Twp. Fire Chief Michael Hannigan said.
Crews were first called to the scene at 11:07 p.m.
Hannigan said they arrived to find heavy fire in the back of a house, which soon spread to the house next door.
Fire crews called for aid from surrounding fire departments, but the main challenge was the water supply.
The fire chief said that the area doesn’t have fire hydrants, so it can take some time to establish a significant supply. Fire trucks first arrive with about 1,000 gallons of water, he said, but once that it expended crews have to wait for more to arrive.
Hannigan said that by the end they had used about 12,000 to 13,000 gallons of water available in tankers from several fire departments, but the system took about a half-hour to set up.
“It’s just how it is,” Hannigan said. “It doesn’t mean I like it, but it’s how it is.”
There were no injuries in the fire, which brought in fire crews from Warren, Butler and Montgomery counties.
By late Monday morning, neighbors were continuing to digest the damage. John O’Donnell, who has lived in the area for 25 years, said the scene overnight was “total chaos” because of all the activity.
“I feel so bad for my neighbors,” he said.
The state fire marshal and Warren County fire investigators have been requested to the scene. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.
Our crew also spoke to Rechell Hisle, who said that she was a resident of one of the burned houses.
She said that she was holding her grandson and fell asleep in the living room. When she woke up, she walked toward the back of the house and saw the fire. She grabbed her grandson, woke up her fiance, got out of the house and called 911.
From there, she said, there was nothing to do but wait and watch as the fire spread and burned the house.
Hisle said that the fire department arrived 10-15 minutes after she called.