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Unity house destroyed by fire

Jacob Tierney
| Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 11:39 p.m.
A fire burns through the roof of a home in Unity Wednesday evening. Ammunition, oxygen and acetylene tanks exploded as the house and garage burned, Dry Ridge volunteer fire Chief Rich Levay said.
A fire burns through the roof of a home in Unity Wednesday evening. Ammunition, oxygen and acetylene tanks exploded as the house and garage burned, Dry Ridge volunteer fire Chief Rich Levay said.
Larry Woodward walks past his burned house on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 1629 Route 130 in Unity Township. Oxygen tanks, acetylene tanks and ammunition were present in the building, said Fire Chief Rich Levay Dry Ridge Fire Department.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
Larry Woodward walks past his burned house on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 1629 Route 130 in Unity Township. Oxygen tanks, acetylene tanks and ammunition were present in the building, said Fire Chief Rich Levay Dry Ridge Fire Department.
Junior firefighter Zach Cross looks back to junior firefighter Max Jackson, both 16 of Whitney, as they work to extinguish a burned house on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 1629 Route 130 in Unity Township. Oxygen tanks, acetylene tanks and ammunition were present in the building, said Fire Chief Rich Levay Dry Ridge Fire Department.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
Junior firefighter Zach Cross looks back to junior firefighter Max Jackson, both 16 of Whitney, as they work to extinguish a burned house on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 1629 Route 130 in Unity Township. Oxygen tanks, acetylene tanks and ammunition were present in the building, said Fire Chief Rich Levay Dry Ridge Fire Department.
A firefighter works to extinguish a burned house on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 1629 Route 130 in Unity Township. Oxygen tanks, acetylene tanks and ammunition were present in the building, said Fire Chief Rich Levay Dry Ridge Fire Department.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
A firefighter works to extinguish a burned house on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 1629 Route 130 in Unity Township. Oxygen tanks, acetylene tanks and ammunition were present in the building, said Fire Chief Rich Levay Dry Ridge Fire Department.
EMT Chase Coppetti and paramedic Matthew Fisher observe in a soybean field as firefighters work to extinguish a burned house on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 1629 Route 130 in Unity Township. Oxygen tanks, acetylene tanks and ammunition were present in the building, said Fire Chief Rich Levay Dry Ridge Fire Department.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
EMT Chase Coppetti and paramedic Matthew Fisher observe in a soybean field as firefighters work to extinguish a burned house on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 1629 Route 130 in Unity Township. Oxygen tanks, acetylene tanks and ammunition were present in the building, said Fire Chief Rich Levay Dry Ridge Fire Department.
A worker with Murrysville Medic One stores away equipment as firefighters work to extinguish a burned house on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 1629 Route 130 in Unity Township. Oxygen tanks, acetylene tanks and ammunition were present in the building, said Fire Chief Rich Levay Dry Ridge Fire Department.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
A worker with Murrysville Medic One stores away equipment as firefighters work to extinguish a burned house on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 1629 Route 130 in Unity Township. Oxygen tanks, acetylene tanks and ammunition were present in the building, said Fire Chief Rich Levay Dry Ridge Fire Department.

A Unity house was destroyed by fire Wednesday evening.

Larry Woodward was welding in the front yard of his home at 1629 Route 130 when sparks caught either the grass or a nearby tarp at about 6:30 p.m., he said.

Ammunition, oxygen and acetylene tanks exploded as the house and garage burned, Dry Ridge volunteer fire Chief Rich Levay said.

Woodward does not live in the house, which he started building in the 1980s and never finished. He lives in the camper in his yard. The yard is also filled with trucks and construction equipment, which made it difficult for firefighters to reach the house, according to Levay.

Firefighters were able to quench the blaze and keep it from spreading, but not before the unfinished house burned to the ground. There were no major injuries, just blisters from the heat on Woodward's leg.

The roof and wall were already collapsing by the time firefighters arrived, Levay said.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze. It was out shortly after 7 p.m.

Woodward accidentally ran over a fire hose as he tried to save a truck from his yard, Levay said.

A portion of Route 130 was shut down as the fire was brought under control.

Woodward said the house was uninsured, but it was worth very little. He said he was more concerned about the loss of thousands of dollars worth of equipment from his garage.

He plans to continue living in the trailer on his yard, unless it was too heavily damaged by the heat.

“Hey, I'll sleep in my car, it won't be the first time I've slept in my car,” he said.

Dry Ridge, Marguerite, Pleasant Unity and West Point fire departments responded to the scene, with several other departments providing tankers.

Jacob Tierney is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6646 or jtierney@tribweb.com.

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