The smell of smoke and fire stained the morning air as it flowed through an idyllic Windsor Township neighborhood on Friday. On the front lawn of one of the oldest homes, charred living-room furniture sat smoldering.
"We're lucky," David Kline, 81, said as he stood in the kitchen of a neighbor's home. "The smoke alarm went off and we got out."
Kline said he and his wife, Carole, were sleeping this morning when they were jolted awake by smoke detectors around 4:45 a.m. Smoke had already filled much of the house.
Kline said he called 911, moved his asthmatic wife to a smoke-free room and went to investigate.
He headed downstairs to find a fire raging around the family's wood stove. Kline said he tried to knock it down with a fire extinguisher, but it was already too far out of control.
"We realized that we couldn't handle it," he said.
The two moved outside to wait for firefighters in the driveway at 795 Dietz Road.
The home, where the Klines have lived since it was built in 1968, suffered "severe damage."
But, Kline said, "I don't think the house is destroyed."
Kline said he's sure the fire started in or around the wood stove, but he's not sure why. Perhaps something got stuck in a pipe, he said. The stove was cleaned regularly, sat on a brick foundation and was backed by a brick wall, Kline said.
Engines and firefighters from six companies responded Friday morning.
Hose said the fire investigator determined the house sustained about $145,000 in damage. No one was injured.
The Klines will be staying with friends while fire investigators and insurance company representatives survey the damage. Family members showed up Friday to help make phone calls and comfort the couple. They've also gotten assistance from the American Red Cross.
David Kline, who founded Family Heirloom Weavers three decades ago, said he's grateful for the smoke alarms.
"What we lost is just stuff," he said.- Erin James may also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.