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Families Escape 2 House Fires in Pickaway County

PICKAWAY COUNTY (Ken Hines) -- Investigators believe a space heater may have sparked a fire that forced a family into the cold on Wednesday morning.

Two adults and three children escaped their burning home at the corner of State Route 56 & Huber-Hitler Road near Circleville after an 8-year-old girl alerted her family members to the rapidly-spreading fire, according to the girl's mother, Betsy Cradlebaugh.

"It was smokey, but we all just [ran] out. It wasn't that bad when we first got out. It didn't take long for it as old as the house is," Cradlebaugh said.

Firefighters first arrived at the home at approximately 3:30 a.m., and were soon joined by crews from four additional departments. Crews worked on a rotation in order to allow firefighters to seek shelter from sub-zero temperatures.

The cause of the blaze has not been officially determined, but firefighters think it was ignited by a space heater.

No people were injured by the fire, but family members believe their dog may have been killed.

After extinguishing the flames at the family's home, some of the responding firefighters immediately traveled to another burning house in Pickaway County, a short distance away in Ashville.

Family members inside that home were also able to escape safely.
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