Wellsville family escapes house fire

WELLSVILLE – A family of seven was left to find another place to stay Saturday night after a fire damaged at least two rooms in the upstairs of their home at the corner of Commerce and 15th streets.

Misty Speece, who rents the house, said her daughter Sierra Speece, 16, was home with her young son when a fire started in the corner of the room. The teen grabbed her child and ran to a neighbor’s to call for help.

Speece said she was at the store down the street when she learned of the fire. When she arrived home, she said, it was only a small fire in her teenage daughter’s room.

“I opened up her door, and it was just a small fire,” Misty Speece said. “It spread real quick.”

Firefighters arrived and were able to quickly contain the blaze to the upstairs bedrooms.

Fire Chief Bill Smith said the front rooms in the upstairs had the heaviest damage, with other portions of the upstairs receiving heavy smoke damage. There was water damage downstairs where the water ran through the ceilings.

Smith said he is still investigating the cause of the fire. He plans to look into it further and is looking at a couple of different possible causes.

This was not the first time the home has caught fire. A couple years ago, firefighters fought another blaze there. Smith said that fire started in another upstairs bedroom and the damage to the home was worse from that fire than it was Saturday night.

Speece and Dan Crow Sr. live in the house, along with Speece’s four children – Brandon, 19; Jordan, 17; Sierra, 16 and Morgan, 8. Her grandson, Christian, who turns 2 in June shared the bedroom with his mother.

Speece said she had received plenty of offers from people who were willing to give them a place to stay for the night, but she had not decided what to do yet. Smith said the family has other family in the area, but the fire department also offered them help from the American Red Cross.

A dog reportedly refused to leave despite attempts by both the family and firefighters to coax it outside. It remained inside the house while firefighters were extinguishing the fire and was brought out later.

The house is owned by Nina Graves. Smith said he is uncertain if the building is insured, but noted the family living there does not have renter’s insurance.

Smith said Highlandtown Volunteer Fire Department waited at the Wellsville fire station as the whole village department attended to the fire. There were no injuries.