Bad year turns worse with New Year blaze

A North Manchester home on West Third Street burns early Monday morning. (By Tom Davis of News-Sentinel.com)
A North Manchester home on West Third Street burns early Monday morning. (By Tom Davis of News-Sentinel.com)
Firefighters from Chester Township fill a reserve pool with water as they battle a blaze on West Third Street in North Manchester. (By Tom Davis of News-Sentinel.com)
A North Manchester home on West Third Street burns early Monday morning. (By Tom Davis of News-Sentinel.com)
A North Manchester home on West Third Street burns early Monday morning. (By Tom Davis of News-Sentinel.com)

NORTH MANCHESTER – The year of 2017 was a sad one for Rodney Dollarhide and the New Year hasn’t gotten off to any better of a start.

The North Manchester resident began 2018 by standing outside of his residence on West Third Street Monday and watching it be engulfed in flames.

“The lights had been flickering for awhile,” Dollarhide told News-Sentinel.com as the sound of window shattering in the flames cracked through the frigid morning air. “I don’t know what the Hell happened.”

The fire began shortly after 10 a.m. and appeared to be a total loss, as fire departments from both the town of North Manchester and Chester Township were on the scene quickly.

“(Dollarhide) said that he heard the smoke alarms, grabbed his dogs and got out,” an emergency official said.

Dollarhide explained that he had just purchased the house in February, but after losing his wife to illness in May, the life-long Florida resident had decided to put it up for sale.

“I’ve lived in Florida my whole life,” Dollarhide said. “I figured if it sells, it sells.”

He explained that the house had had wiring done by the previous owner, but no cause for the fire, or police report, was available as of early Monday afternoon.

Officials were still on the scene several hours later Monday.

Dollarhide’s emotions ranged from anger to disbelief and finally to sorrow. Tears welled up in his eyes as he looked back on the past 12 months.

“I lost my wife in May,” Dollarhide said. “It was a bad year, and now this.”

Dollarhide was home alone at the time of the blaze and no injuries were suffered.