|Monday fire destroys rural Venango home|
By Jan Rahn
Six area fire departments responded to an afternoon blaze on Monday, Feb. 15, which destroyed the home of Wayne and Eunice Prottsman south of Venango.
According to the state fire marshal who investigated the fire, the cause was a malfunction in an oil burning furnace. The furnace was under repair when it exploded. The repairman on site was not severely injured, however, he was transported to the Perkins County Hospital.
Nearly 40 personnel from the fire departments of Venango, Grant, Madrid, Imperial, Amherst and Lamar responded to the call that came in at 2:59 p.m.
Firefighters were on scene over three hours extinguishing the house fire as well as an estimated 10 acres of cornstalks in a field across the road to the south that caught fire due to flying embers.
The homeowners were in the house at the time it caught on fire. According to the fire marshal, smoke instantly filled the home, however, the Prottsmans and the furnace repairman were able to escape. A Grant firefighter received minor burns and was treated later in the evening.