COAL VALLEY -- The Halls were almost done with a yearslong remodel of their home, but a Wednesday night fire likely has ended their labors.|
"All we had to do was just the bedroom," William Hall said as he looked over the ruin of 9010 U.S. 150 where he and his wife, Rebecca, have lived for five years.
Everything else had been done room by room through the years, he said.
The fire happened about 11 p.m., Coal Valley Fire Protection District Chief David Dunham said Thursday. There were no injuries, but the fire, which took firefighters about 30 minutes to subdue, heavily damaged the home.
It was unclear if the home would be salvageable, Chief Dunham said. The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation.
From the road, a passerby might miss that a fire had occurred. The soot and cracked windows were hard to see.
But the fire's heavy hand was all too apparent in the back of the home. The siding was melted, the walls were blackened and here and there were the mushy, unintelligible piles of char and debris that are telltale leavings of house fires.
On Thursday afternoon, the Halls were salvaging what they could. Mr. Hall said that likely would be some curios and his guns but not much else.
The couple was staying at a hotel, care of the American Red Cross, he said.
They were home at the time of the fire, Ms. Hall said. Her husband was asleep, and she almost was when she smelled something.
"That was my first thought: 'Who's burning stuff?'" she said.
She said she got up and looked down the hall, toward the laundry room, and saw the flames and the smoke.
Ms. Hall said she woke her husband, they got their dog, quickly realized they had to go and phoned for help.
"I couldn't get 911 dialed fast enough," she said.
The couple said they are insured but did not know on Thursday afternoon if their home could be saved. It might be easier just to start over, they said.
If that is the case, Mr. Hall said, the new labor likely will be where their old home died.
"We'll build right here," he said. "We just love it right here."
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