GLENMOOR - A fire ripped through an Annesley Road structure Saturday afternoon, destroying items stored inside, even though firefighters were just across the street when the blaze was discovered.
The small home at 16309 Annesley Road was being used to store a variety of items, according to owner William Barcus, who lives next door.
He said he had been inside and removed some boxes from a cook stove then returned and found the area around the stove was on fire.
"I don't know if I bumped one of the buttons (on the stove) or what. The fire was roaring around there when I came back," Barcus said.
Firefighters were erecting a new ham radio tower at the Glenmoor Fire Station just across the street when deputy Chief Bill Bennett spotted fire coming from the structure.
Firefighters were outfitted and on the scene within a couple minutes, if that, according to Chief Matt Smith, who said flames were already shooting through the roof when they arrived.
With mutual aid from Calcutta and Liverpool Township fire departments, the blaze was knocked down quickly, with Smith saying, "They did a good job. We've all been working well together, like one big department."
Dixonville firefighter Nick Munoz fell through the floor but was not injured, although he was checked out by paramedics at the scene.
Two dirt bikes stored inside were recovered, with Smith saying one appeared to have sustained some damage. The structure sustained heavy fire, heat and smoke damage.
Barcus' wife, Roberta, said the building contained not only Christmas items but mementoes from her mother, grandmother and mother-in-law, as well as photographs, although she said firefighters indicated those may have been in an area not as heavily damaged.
Barcus said his tools were also inside the storage area.
Smith said he was uncertain if the structure or contents were insured, and said the cause is still under investigation.