Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 5, 2016

Fire consumes house near Lockridge

By NICOLE HESTER-WILLIAMS Ledger staff writer | Nov 21, 2016
Courtesy of: RICHARD THOMPSON A fire consumed a house Friday at 1812 Willow Blvd. in rural Lockridge.

The Fairfield Fire Department helped battle a house fire Friday evening in Lockridge.

Fairfield firefighters arrived on the scene at 5:47 p.m. and offered mutual assistance to the Lockridge Fire Department. However, the blaze, which occurred at 1812 Willow Blvd. in Lockridge, caused a total loss.

Homeowner Lori LeMaster said she thought the fire might have originated from hot coals inside of the woodstove that were not completely put out.

“Maybe the backdraft blew the coals,” she said, adding that she wasn’t sure of how the fire actually started.

“We lost six dogs,” nearly in tears she said of her dog and her five puppies that perished in the fire.

Shelia Westfall, LeMaster’s friend said that she received a call from LeMaster’s neighbor that the house was on fire.

“I tried calling her, but she was at work. I called her daughter, Megan, she was headed out to work to pick her mom up and then she drove her out to the house.

It was already on fire at that point, and with the wind, they couldn’t do much,” Westfall said.

“I’m looking for a home right now; I’m looking for rentals,” LeMaster said, adding that she purchased the home around 19 years ago.

“My best friend lived with me, too; he lost everything,” she said, of her roommate Dan Lake.

Also saddened by the blaze, is Fairfield resident Bonnie Thompson, who said the house had been in her family for more than four generations before it was sold by her parents in 1989.

Thompson said her heart goes out to LeMaster for her loss.

“[Around] 105 years ago, my grandfather, Oscar Frederick Lillyblade built that house,” she said, explaining that her mother and her four siblings were raised in the home, and that her own parents purchased the house and she grew up in it with her three siblings.

Thompson said her sister and her husband later lived in the house with their five children.

“Four generations at some point lived in that house,” she said, adding that her great-grandfather, who emigrated from Sweden in the 1860s, also lived in the house intermittently.

“It’s sad, we had the farm and the house in our family for 80 years, we had been away from it for a while, but the memories are there,” she said. “The blessing out of if for us is the sharing of memories—multi-generations sharing memories, so that part is good.”

Although still reeling about the loss, LeMaster is hopeful.

“I need to stay around this area, because my horses are still out there, so I’m looking for a place around Lockridge or Mt. Pleasant,” she said. “I plan to rebuild around springtime.”

The Ledger was unable to reach the Lockridge Fire Department by publication time.

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