2 houses destroyed in Washington County fire

·2 min read

A Washington County couple is starting over after a fire destroyed their home of 30 years.

Carole Leach and her husband lived along Wood Street in New Eagle.

“Once you walk out and see your house on fire, what do you do? Stand there and watch it go,” Leach said.

The Leaches own two houses next door to each other. One of them is unoccupied. That’s the home that caught fire first.

“The homeowner was burning weeds with a torch and went inside. The next thing you know, the structure next to the house he was living in was on fire,” New Eagle Fire Chief Paul Pro said.

Tiffany Forlai lives across the street. Her home was damaged by the heat.

“The heat was unbelievably intense,” she said. “This house here went down first. It was just completely engulfed in flames. Before long, the second house caught fire.”

The unoccupied house had no utilities and was primarily used for storage and recreation. That home burned to the ground. The other home will be condemned and demolished.

“They don’t have insurance on either house, so they lost everything,” Leach’s sister Sandra Fosbrink said. “They’re going to need everything.”

“We’re all okay and we’re just going to start over. Nothing else I can do,” Leach said.

Pro says eight departments and 60 firefighters were needed to fight the blaze.

The Red Cross is helping but Leach’s sister says she is working on a fundraiser for the couple.

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