WASHINGTON -- Flames gutted a South Washington State Road home Friday afternoon, leaving it beyond repair, according to firefighters.

Mitch Pratt and Anne Hynes, the owners of 1013 South Washington State Rd., were away when the fire occurred.

It was reported by a Huntington man, Mitchell D. St. Martin, who noticed a growing chimney fire at the residence while passing by in his vehicle around 2:45 p.m.

After notifying first responders, St. Martin proceeded to break down the door in order to free two dogs that he saw were locked inside.

The fire spread quickly. Flames fully engulfed the home by the time Becket Fire Chief Ray Tarjick, the first fireman to hit the scene, arrived.

"I called for mutual aid reporting a fully involved fire," Tarjick said. "Off hand I would say 30 firefighters responded."

The Becket, Hinsdale, Otis and Washington fire departments sent firefighters, tankers and engines to the scene.

Tarjick said it took three hours to knock down the flames. Firemen remained on scene performing an "extensive overhaul" -- extinguishing hot spots, removing possessions and tearing apart walls -- until roughly 10 p.m.

The home, which Tarjick valued at approximately $250,000, is destroyed.

"I think the insurance company is going to total it," Tarjick said. "The shell is standing but it’s completely gutted."

Tarjick said he believes it was a chimney fire.


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Members of the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the cause of the blaze, Tarjick said.

In interviews with The Eagle on Friday, firefighters of the Becket, Hinsdale and Washington departments praised St. Martin’s actions in reporting the fire and rescuing the family’s two dogs.

To reach Phil Demers:
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On Twitter: @BE_PhilD