An accidental fire gutted a house in Little Britain Township Saturday afternoon, May 25, leaving a family of three homeless.
The blaze in the 100 block of Nottingham Rd. (Rt. 272) was ignited by a lawn mower that had been used recently, Robert Fulton Fire Chief Phil Smith said.
"This was the second fire we've had in recent years caused by a lawn mower," the fire chief said.
Although most of the fire was confined to the garage, the house and its contents sustained heavy smoke and heat damage.
"It was so hot in there, the smoke detector melted off the wall," Chief Smith said.
The door to one bedroom was closed, allowing it to escape significant damage.
Fulton firefighters were in station, having just wrapped up an activity, when the 4:11 p.m. call came in.
The first firefighters reached the scene in minutes and knocked down the majority of the fire. Volunteers from Quarryville, Bart, and Oxford assisted; about 55 firefighters fought the blaze.
Units from the Wakefield Ambulance Association stood by at the scene.
The fire was brought under control by 4:50 p.m.
Damage to the home and its contents was estimated at $100,000.
There were no injuries.
Three pet cats died in the blaze.
The Red Cross is assisting the family.