Vestal Home Burns

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Dec 31, 2008 at 12:18 AM EDT

A Vestal family is without a home tonight...

After it's destroyed by fire.

It began just before 4 this afternoon.

Investigators are now searching for a cause.

Action News Reporter Caitlin Nuclo has the latest.

"We just saw a ton of black smoke and as I walked up the street and got closer we saw fire pouring out the windows," said neighbor Amanda Herzog.

The billowing clouds of dark smoke could be seen for miles.

When Fire fighters arrived to 3317 Almar Drive in Vestal, the home was completely engulfed in flames.

Nearly 80 fire fighters responded to battle the blaze.

"It had a pretty good start on us before we got here," said Chief Douglas Rose.

That's because no one was home.

Giving the fire time to spread inside, before neighbors noticed and called 911.

"They were getting multiple phone calls. I imagine it was probably going for a while inside then obviously once it vented everyone sees it," said Rose.

"I've never seen anything like this in my entire life, it's horrible this is the worst fire I've ever seen, its scary." said Herzog.

The heavy flames and smoke inside the house prevented fire fighters from entering the home right away.

Rose says they started tackling it from the exterior, before battling the hot spots inside.

It took them about an hour to get the flames under control.

"They started smashing all the windows and the doors." said Herzog.

"It's really bad, there is a floor collapse, partial roof collapse, a lot of damage," said Rose.

Rose says the house appears to be a loss.

Investigators are focusing on the lower back end of the house for a cause.

The fire department say the Sheptock family lives there.

They have been notified, and the Red Cross is helping them tonight.

Rose says one firefighter was taken to Wilson Hospital for chest pain.

Although he is not sure if it was directly related to the fire.

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