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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Christmas Day fire leaves Verona family homeless

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Christmas Day fire has resulted in the total loss of a home and its contents for a Verona woman and her family.

Verona firefighters were called out to the blaze at 12:56 p.m. on Dec. 25. Upon hearing the nature of the call, Verona Fire Chief Tony Hinkle immediately called in support from Aurora Fire Department and Aurora Rural Fire Department.

"We were told the house was fully engulfed when we received the initial call," Hinkle said. "We had a good response time. We were on the scene in about 10 minutes."

Hinkle said the other responding agencies arrived at the same time and firefighters immediately started a defensive attack on the flames.

"We had about 18 firefighters respond to the scene," Hinkle said. "They were already at home with their families for Christmas.

"We got the fire knocked down enough to get inside, but the home was a total loss," Hinkle continued. "A neighbor said from the time she saw it until it was fully engulfed was about 12 minutes."

The occupants of the rental property, Samantha Hostetter, and her two teenage sons, were not at home at the time of the fire.

"They had gone into Aurora for 30 to 45 minutes and when they returned home, the house was fully engulfed," Hinkle said. "Preliminary investigation reveals the fire to be accidental in nature."

The home and its contents were declared a total loss.

"One of the firefighters' wives collected some clothing for the mother, but I don't know that anything has been collected for the children," Hinkle said. "The American Red Cross responded with food, clothing and a motel room for the next few days.

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