The Union, New Haven and Gerald/Rosebud fire departments, as well as the Washington Fire District, all assisted the Beaufort/Leslie Fire Department at a two-alarm structure fire in the 100 block of Holy Family Church Road, New Haven, Wednesday morning.
The home, owned by Kurt and Michelle Unnerstall, Washington, is located between New Haven and Leslie on Highway C, on the old Boland farm.
The department was called to the home, which is in the process of being remodeled, just after 7:30 a.m., when the homeowner smelled smoke. There were no visible signs of a fire.
No one was in or around the home at the time of the fire, according to Justin Schengbier, firefighter/EMT with the Beaufort/Leslie Fire District.
Jim Schuhmacher, Franklin County fire investigator, said there is nothing suspicious about the fire, which was caused by an electrical circuit in the basement ceiling that malfunctioned.
Schengbier said the fire was difficult to find.
“It was very hidden. We located the fire between a crawlspace and the basement,” he said, adding that firefighters had to search three rooms before finding where the fire was. “Once we finally found it, we were able to wrap it up quickly.”
Including knocking the fire down, checking for hot spots or extensions of the fire and cleanup, crews were on the scene for about four hours.
Damage was confined to the basement and a great room that had been added on to the existing structure.
Schuhmacher said damages were moderate, with the fire burning through the ceiling into several spots of the floor in the great room. Several floor joists, as well as the entire tongue and groove floor, will have to be replaced, he said.