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Electrical fire guts log home near New London

Emil Whitis • Dec 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM

(UPDATED WITH 911 AUDIO) A 52-year-old Townsend Township man credits his 12-year-old daughter for making him put batteries in his smoke detector after the alarm alerted him to a quickly spreading fire.

Rory Schwab said the fire alarm woke him at 3 a.m. Monday as smoke spread through his 1,900-square-foot log cabin in the 500 block of Derussey Road near New London.

Schwab went to his living room where he found his Christmas tree and a chair on fire. He attempted to beat back the blaze, but he became overwhelmed by the smoke. Schwab grabbed his cat and escaped the house through a window. He and the cat were the only ones home.

Firefighters responded from Townsend Township, Wakeman and New London, but the fire quickly spread throughout the home.

In addition to the house, Schwab said he lost Christmas presents for his children, his truck and a lawn mower. He's grateful, however, that his daughter insisted he put batteries in his smoke detector just a week or two ago.

Authorities say the fire was likely electrical. There is not yet a cost estimate on the damage.

Read about how Schwab plans to move forward in Wednesday's Register.

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