A fire tore through a Central Avenue home Wednesday morning, causing at least $35,000 in damage.
The first 911 call came into the station at 10:39 a.m., Sandusky fire Chief Mike Meinzer said.
The wail of sirens echoed through the icy morning air as Sandusky firefighters raced toward the blaze at 1605 Central Ave.
"On arrival, the full house was charged with smoke. The flames were not visible, but it looked like the fire was extensive," Meinzer said.
"We were a little nervous at first because the doors were locked, everything was secured, and there were two vehicles on the premises that indicated we might have some people inside," he said.
The homeowner, Robert Jordan, arrived a few minutes later and confirmed to firefighters there was no one in the house.
The fire department had to force entry into the home, at which point flames burst through windows causing the some temporary exposure to a neighboring home.
Jordan clutched his chest as he watched firefighters extinguish the last of the flames.
Meinzer said the fire was under control within five minutes of their arrival, and that the flames were entirely out within 10 minutes.
Joe Hayberger was at his son's home across the street when he saw the smoke. He said he walked outside and saw flames shooting off the side of house, then ran inside to call 911.
Michelle Cooley and her daughter Brittany Blankenship, who live directly across the street from Jordan, said they were going about their morning routine when they saw what they initially thought to be chimney smoke. More than an hour later, they saw flames rising above the roof along the back of the home.
According to Meinzer, firefighters said they heard "pops" and "loud arcs" from electrical wiring inside and outside the house.
While the cause of the fire is still unknown, Meinzer said the point of origin was a back bedroom of the home where the most damage was found. The entire house sustained significant damage from heat and smoke. Meinzer estimated there was $20,000 in structural damage and an additional $15,000 to $20,000 in content damage. The homeowner did have insurance, he said.