RIPLEY - No one was hurt in the Ripley fire that destroyed a house Wednesday morning.
At 3 a.m. Wednesday, firefighters were alerted to a house fire at 951 Evans Road in Ripley, said Ripley Volunteer Fire Department Chief Richard H. Gobble II.
The initial call reported heavy smoke in the house, with fire suspected, Gobble said.
The home was a two-story structure belonging to Nathan Donohew of Ripley, Gobble said. He is the owner of Jeweler's Touch jewelry store in Ripley, Gobble said.
All of the family members escaped the blaze safely, with only the clothes they were wearing at the time, Gobble said. Smoke alarms in the home alerted the family to the situation in enough time to escape without being harmed, Gobble said.
There were no pets present in the home, Gobble said.
Firefighters arrived at 3:10 a.m., having to battle slippery road conditions to reach the residence, Gobble said.
By the time the Ripley crew reached the residence, one end of the building was described as "completely engulfed in heavy fire, which was blowing out that end of the home and spreading rapidly," Gobble said.
The residence was more than 40 years old, Gobble said. The 40-year-old building materials used in the home's original construction contributed to the rapid spread of the fire, Gobble said.
The Ripley Volunteer Fire Department was the first unit on the scene. It was soon joined by the Southern Jackson County Volunteer Fire Department, the Cottageville Volunteer Fire Department, the Ravenswood Volunteer Fire Department and the Silverton Volunteer Fire Department, Gobble said.
Many of the area's volunteer firefighters were away on Thanksgiving vacation when the call came in, Gobble said. The fire departments had to work together in order to cover the lack of on-hand volunteers, Gobble said.
With a fire hydrant available beside the house, the fire departments attached four hoses and attacked the blaze from all angles, Gobble said.
The house was destroyed by the fire, Gobble said. The home's value was estimated at $500,000, Gobble said.
The fire was declared to be contained at 5 a.m., Gobble said.
"It was a good coordinated effort with all of the other fire departments in the area," Gobble said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, he said.