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Fire destroys old farmhouse this morning

November 14, 2012 News Extra

IRWIN TWP, Venango County — A fire Wednesday night destroyed an old farmhouse in this township near Barkeyville and just north of Butler County.

The owners, Greg Miller and his mother, had left that morning to attend a wedding in New Orleans and apparently were unaware of the blaze.

“We contacted family members and they were trying to get hold of (the owners),” Chief Gerry Rea of the Clintonville Volunteer Fire Department said this morning.

Miller is a retired teacher in the Franklin School District in Venango County.

Only the charred shell of the turn-of-the-century, two-story house on East Gilmore Road — less than one-half mile west of Route 8 — remains after the blaze that broke out shortly after 9:30 p.m.

The state police fire marshal’s office was to begin an investigation today.

“We don’t have a cause,” Rea said, “but there was nothing unusual around the house to lead us to believe this was suspicions.”

“Flames were shooting out the front windows on both floors, and there was no way we could do an interior attack,” Rea said.

A damage estimate was not immediately available.

Clintonville firefighters got back to the station shortly after 1 a.m. today; however, as soon as they returned, they were sent back after the fire rekindled.

The fire reportedly rekindled a second time about 6:20 a.m.