Bathroom Exhaust Fan Blamed for Ross Township New Year's Eve House Fire

A mother and her son escape unharmed.

Ross Township  Fire Marshall John Reubi believes a bathroom exhaust fan triggered a New Year's Eve fire which heavily damaged a home at 508 Fox Drive.

The two occupants, Virginia Doner, 82, and her 54-year-old son, managed to escape in time.

The fire started shortly after 11 p.m.

"The fire began in the attic, and that was the only electrical device up there," said Reubi. "We pinpointed the origin of the fire to that fan."

Family members told Reubi that the fan was often left running for hours at a time.

"When crews arrived on the scene, there were flames eight to ten feet high shooting through the roof, " said Ross Township Fire Marshal John Reubi. "That fire probably had a half hour start in the attic before the woman inside noticed it."

Doner and her son ran across the street to neighbors, who called 911. They are staying with relatives and getting assistance from the Red Cross. 

Reubi said despite the timing, less than an hour before midnight on New Year's Eve, volunteer firefighters answered the call en mass.

“We had plenty of manpower. Even being that the evening that it is, we had a nice turnout of firefighters to take care of and get the fire under control,” said Reubi.

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