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Jamie Potter said he was home alone when he awoke around 12:30 a.m. Monday to what sounded like water pipes banging. Smelling smoke, Potter soon realized the house was on fire and made his exit safely.
Potter said his wife and three young children had stayed at his parents’ home for the night following an Easter Sunday family gathering. He had returned home around 11:30 p.m. Sunday after being called out to a job, and was asleep on the couch when the fire broke out.
The cause of the fire was not determined, but after several days of thunderstorms, and some very dangerous lightning in the area, a lightning strike could not be ruled out.
Potter said when he got out of the house the garage, on the basement level, and the floor above it were on fire.
The 3-story frame structure contained some 8,200 square feet, much of it built with cedar lumber which allowed the fire to spread rapidly.
Due to the size of the structure and the fire involvement, firemen were unable to enter the structure and had to fight the fire from the exterior.
The Ava City Fire Department called for mutual aid assistance from Ava Rural, Goodhope and Mansfield fire departments which sent personnel to assist with the blaze.
Firemen spent some nine hours on the scene but even with the help of rain from Mother Nature, were unable to extinguish the blaze that rapidly spread through the house.