By Robert Stoneback
The Daily Item
— DANVILLE – A fire that gutted an Ash Street house on Tuesday has been ruled accidental by the state police.
Trooper Kirk Renn, who serves as fire marshal out of the Milton barracks, said the fire was electrical in nature and began in the walls of the house at 117 Ash Street, the home of Linda Rogers. A space heater in the upstairs bathroom was not the cause, as had originally been suspected by Rogers. Wiring leading to the heater’s outlet, however, had malfunctioned due to a heavy electricity load from the appliance, Renn said.
The fire began at 11:20 a.m., Tuesday, resulting in heavy damage to both floors of the home. Rogers was away at Cole’s Hardware at the time of the fire. The only other occupants were her two cats, both of which were rescued by firefighters. Emergency personnel worked in near-zero temperatures for several hours to put out the flames.
Renn estimated the total damages to the property at $200,000. Rogers is covered by insurance, he said.