Five left homeless by Clovesville blaze

By Brian Sweeney
A Halloween decoration is being blamed for a Thursday morning fire that destroyed a Clovesville house and left a family of five homeless. The fire broke out shortly after 2 a.m. and gutted the two-story home. The family dog is credited with barking to wake up the occupants.
The home was occupied by Dawn and DeWayne Lewis and their two children
ages two and eight. Also occupying the house was Mr. Lewis’ mother, Dorothy
Lewis. All escaped uninjured but their possessions were destroyed.
Delaware County 911 Coordinator Steve Finch said that Dorothy Lewis was alerted to the fire when her dog began making a commotion. She then awoke the other family members so they could flee to safety. All escaped unharmed, but two cats reportedly perished in the blaze.
Mr. Finch said there was too much damage to determine whether the Halloween decoration was faulty or if the heat from the device ignited surrounding materials.
Fleischmanns Fire Chief Todd Wickham said his department was assisted at the scene by volunteers from Big Indian, Pine Hill, Mar-garetville, Arkville and Halcottsville. It took about two hours to bring the fire under control and firefighters remain on the scene until about 8:30 a.m.
Chief Wickham said the fire was primarily fought from the inside. The house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Most of the structure was left intact, but the inside was gutted.
The house, which reported dates back to the late 1800s, was owned by Fleischmanns residents David and Bea Hull.
The fire was investigated by the Delaware County Department of Emergency Services with the assistance of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department.