Search for cause in fire at Negley man’s home proves inconclusive

NEGLEY – A Negley man will never know what caused his home to burn to the ground on Tuesday.

Fire Chief Gary Banicki said a state fire marshal inspected the damage on Wednesday and ruled the cause as undetermined.

The fire marshal was called in because Banicki also was unable to determine the cause, although he said it looked like it originated near where the electric was connected to the home.

“There was so much damage there is no way you could pinpoint (the cause),” he said.

The Negley Fire Department and East Palestine and New Waterford departments and EMS responded to the Gorby Lake Road home owned by D. Scott Wallace around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Darlington Township fire crew was called shortly after.

Banicki said 25 firefighters battled the first blaze at the home. The Negley, New Waterford and East Palestine crews were called back a second time around 6:30 p.m. for a rekindle that burned up the rest of the one-story wood frame home.

“It was cooking the second time we went up there,” he said.

Firefighters spent more than four hours putting out that fire.

The home’s location on the rural one-lane, no outlet road made it impossible for more than one tanker truck to get close enough at a time, Banicki said.

“We had to use one tanker at a time backing all the way in,” he said.

He added it would have been helpful if crews could have accessed water from the two lakes nearby, but with no roads leading there the trucks would have gotten stuck in the soft ground.

Despite the difficulty, there was enough water available between the trucks that were there, he said.

No injuries were reported on both calls and although the insured home was a total loss the fire didn’t spread to a nearby barn or detached garage, he added.

“We didn’t really have an exposure problem on that one,” he said.

The Negley crew was back at the station only minutes before 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Although located on Gorby Lake Road, the home’s address is actually 6607 Carbon Hill Road.