ASHLAND — An Ashland model home that was damaged in a fire earlier this month burned to the ground early Tuesday morning in what is suspected to have been an arson.
It took firefighters approximately one hour to extinguish the flames, which engulfed the three-story, 4,000-square-foot home owned by Corey Myers, said Price Nichols, information officer for the Southern Boone County Fire Protection District.
The fire district responded at 4:19 a.m. with five emergency response vehicles to the house in the 300 block of Red Tail Drive, said Ashland Police Chief Anthony Consiglio.
Nichols said that by the time crews arrived on the scene, the fire had already reached 50 percent of the house.
“It’s what we call a 'surround and drown.' That’s all we could do,” Nichols said. “It was gone.”
Nichols said the fire district also called in a ladder truck from the Columbia Fire Department because the fire was so large. The truck extended its ladder over the flames and dumped 1,000 gallons of water per minute onto the blaze for 30 minutes.
“We probably used 50,000 gallons of water” total, Nichols said.
The basement of the model home first caught fire on the morning of June 6, waking neighbors with an explosion, Nichols said.
On Tuesday, a neighbor called Myers at about 5:30 a.m. to notify him of the fire, Myers said. Myers then called Fire Marshal Clayton Farr, the investigating officer of both Red Tail fires.
Consiglio said Tuesday's fire is suspected to have been an arson.
"I do believe that the initial investigation of the case was arson, but I do not believe that it is the definitive conclusion of the investigation," Consiglio said.
Myers said that he had “no suspicions” about what or who caused either of the fires.
Fire officials would not provide further details about the cause of the fires or whether arson was involved because both incidents are under investigation.
“It could be a lengthy process here, and it will be,” Nichols said.