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Blaze levels Owen home

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By John Whitlock

A Friday blaze has left an Owen County family homeless.
According to witnesses, the fire at the home of Tabitha and Walt McDaniel on Fortner Ridge Road started about 12:30 p.m.
“I was down at the grandmother’s house when I saw the smoke,” Michael Shuler said.
The fire was already starting get out of control by the time Shuler arrived at the house.
“I kicked the door in because I knew they had animals in there,” Shuler said. “I got them out of there but the smoke was really getting bad inside.”
Shuler said he knew that his friend Walt McDaniel had several guns in the home and wanted to get them out as well.
“I tried to get the guns out but there was too much smoke,” Shuler said. “I tried to put it out with water but it was just too far gone.”
As firefighters from across Owen County battled the blaze, the “pop” of ammunition could be heard coming from the house.
As she helplessly watched her home burn to the ground, Tabitha McDaniel said the couple had spent the previous night at a friend’s home.
“I have no idea how this happened,” Tabitha McDaniel said. “There was no one home. We weren’t there. We didn’t even put wood in the stove.”
Although her husband was at work when the first broke out, Tabitha McDaniel was quickly on the scene.
“That’s everything we have,” Tabitha McDaniel said. “It’s gone. Everything we have is just gone.”
Owen County Fire Chief Robb Chaney said when firefighters arrived on the scene only a front room in the house was left.
“It was a total loss,” Chaney said. “No insurance.”
Firefighters stayed on the scene for three and a half hours battling the flames.
The Owenton, Owen County, Jonesville, New Liberty, Monterey and Corinth fire departments were all on the scene.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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