House in Hartly damaged by fire


There were no injuries but extensive damage was reported to a house on Hartly Road.. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

There were no injuries but extensive damage was reported to a house on Hartly Road. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

HARTLY — An early afternoon fire swept through a residence on Hartly Road Thursday with no injuries reported but extensive damage to the structure resulting.

Less than two hours after the fire was contained an acrid smell of smoke and burned material wafted around the home at 1501 Hartly Road.

The fire was reported by a passerby in a vehicle at 12:11 p.m. according to Hartly Volunteer Fire Company Station 51.

Elizabeth Spencer, who lives a short distance from the fire scene, was with her husband when she saw black smoke from her home and walked down the road to investigate the source.

“It was pretty bad, as you can see with the windows [broken out] the way they are,” she said, standing next to the road across from the scene as vehicles sped by regularly from both directions.

“It was bad. To me it seemed like a pretty big fire.”

Hartly firefighters responded to the blaze, supported by companies from Cheswold, Marydel, Clayton and Leipsic.

Fire Chief Steve Connors said that while the structure wasn’t a total loss, “there was a lot smoke and fire in a couple rooms that caused a lot of damage.” He said the kitchen, living room and a utility room received the brunt of the fire, with two bedrooms sustaining mostly smoke and water damage.

Fire officials said the home was unoccupied at the time and at least one man lives there. Mr. Connors said he had no contact with the resident as of 4 p.m. Two dogs were rescued from the fire, Mr. Connors said.

Information on the fire’s cause and origin were not immediately available from the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Ms. Spencer said she sometimes saw two boys she described as roughly a head taller than her walking dogs down the road, but didn’t know anything beyond that. She believed three dogs stayed at the house and was concerned about the possible whereabouts of one.

“They would say ‘Hi,’ but we never really talked to each other,” she said of the boys. “They seemed nice enough.”

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