The Bethel Township Fire Department was dispatched to the 9000 block of Lower Valley Pike around 8:30pm on a report of smoke in the residence.
Upon arriving, the firefighters discovered the house filled with thick smoke. The occupants had already evacuated into the frigid temperature outside. The homeowners were out of state on vacation.
Firefighters continued with their investigation when flames began to appear. Mutual aide was quickly dispatched and firefighters struggled to gain control of the fire in the large farm house.
The flames appeared to begin on the first floor stairwell, but soon spread to the basement and upper-floors. Firefighters had to use ladders to access any portion of the second floor where they discovered fire in the walls and in the floors.
It is unclear at this time what started the fire.
It is confirmed that a fire investigator is on scene.
“I had my two daughters in that home. I raised my children there. It's just sad” said a neighbor, who kindly let me warm up in her vehicle.
Mutual Aid is being provided by the following fire departments: Mad River, New Carlisle, Bethel Township (Miami County), Springfield Township, Wright-Patterson AFB & Pike Township.
We will update the story as more information becomes available.