LONGVILLE -- Three separate buildings were in ashes this morning as a Woman Lake home, garage and shed burned to the ground, leaving firefighters wondering whether anyone was home at the time.
The Longville Fire Department responded to the fire one mile south of the city on Glenmor Road about 8:20 a.m. today. A firefighter who works in the area discovered the fire.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, they discovered the house had been reduced to smoldering ashes.
"We are just hoping no one was in there," said Dean Slagle, Longville Fire Department secretary.
So far, there are more questions than answers. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Authorities do not know who owns the property or whether residents were at home during the blaze. The area is residential with nearby homes, but no one reported the fire during the night.
"It's hard to say why somebody didn't see it," Slagle said, noting the area has seasonal residents around the lake, but area driveways showed signs of snowplowing. The fire was so hot it burned the siding of an unoccupied neighboring house.
Slagle said mid-morning efforts were focused on cooling the 24-foot by 30-foot house site so the state fire marshal could go through the ashes later today.
The Cass County Sheriff's Department was working to find the names of homeowners and who was living at the site.
Two vehicles were found burned in the two-stall garage.
A pontoon boat, parked between the garage and the house, also burned. Damaged license plates were difficult to read.
The shed was farther away. Slagle said firefighters have no idea how the shed burned as it was not in the path of the prevailing wind for flaming embers or hot ash to have ignited it.
Recent activity at the home was indicated by uneaten corn feed left out for the deer. Slagle said with deer patterns in the area it is likely the food was put out sometime Wednesday.
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