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Article published January 20, 2013
House condemned after it catches on fire
Authorities blamed a faulty electric blanket for starting a fire this morning that damaged a three-story house in Butler. While firefighters were able to save the home at 215 W. Diamond St., Fire Chief Nick Ban later condemned it, leaving five people homeless. “There appear to be wiring issues there,” Ban said of his decision to condemn the home. “There are also problems with the upkeep and maintenance of the house.” No one was injured but the house, owned by Donna Fehl, sustained about $20,000 in damage, fire officials said. Another $10,000 in damage was reported to the contents. It was not known if Fehl or any of the occupants had insurance. She was at work and not home. Four others who live there got out with two dogs and a cat and the clothes on their backs. Ban said he condemned the house because of concern over still electrical problems and what he considered an unsafe amount of contents and debris crammed inside. “They will have to clean up the property and obtain an inspection and permits needed to rehabilitate a building before that house can be occupied again,” he said. The home’s electric, gas and water also would remain shut off.