Dec. 31--DRAKESVILLE -- Amish adults and children who watched their home burn to the ground know it could have been much worse.
"It could have been at night" while everyone was asleep, said Sheriff Dave Davis of Davis County, repeating what the homeowner told him at the scene.
Shortly after noon Monday, a call came in of a fire in rural Drakesville, about a mile off of Ice Avenue, southwest of the town itself. Sheriff Davis believes the occupants may have been sitting down to a meal when they noticed flames. There were adults and multiple children as young as six years old.
"It went quick," Davis said, adding that by the time he arrived, part of the home was beginning to collapse. "We had an Amish family, with 11 or 12 people. From talking to the homeowner, they first noticed flames from the chimney."
Amish homes do not typically have electricity, and rely on a fireplace or other methods of heating.
The sheriff said firefighters from Drakesville, Bloomfield, Floris and Pulaski responded. Some were still on scene at 7 p.m. Monday night.
It was a "total loss of the big two story home," the sheriff said.
Yet the homeowner told Davis his priority wasn't property.
"He told me, 'We've still got a lot to be thankful for.' If it had been late at night, it could have been a lot worse," the sheriff said.
There's a smaller structure on the property the family may be able to use as a temporary home, Davis believes. And they've received offers of support.
"The Amish community is so good about helping one another," he said, "and of course [other] Davis County residents have already began to help."
-- To follow reporter Mark Newman on Twitter, see @CourierMark
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