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Lightning strike suspected in Dalton house fire April 21


East Wayne with assistance from Kidron, Orrville and Apple Creek responded to a house fire April 21 along Lincoln Way. No one was home and no injuries were reported.

SUGAR CREEK TWP.  No one was home and no injuries were reported when emergency crews responded to a house fire just after 6:20 p.m. April 21 at 13914 E Lincoln Way.

East Wayne Fire District Chief Roger Falb said weather appears to have played a part in the fire but the investigation is still ongoing.

He said most of the damage was in the roof area of the house. East Wayne was on scene for about three hours.

Falb said he would like to thank Kidron, Orrville and Apple Creek fire departments “for their assistance in the quick suppression of the fire.” He also thanked the Ohio Highway Patrol and Ohio Department of Transportation for providing traffic control while they worked on busy U.S. 30.

Connie Kandel, who grew up in the two-story house that was built in 1929, recalls a house filled with love.

Her parents, Marvin and Esther Kandel, owned the house for many years until a few years ago. They both passed away in 2020 and the house was sold at an auction in July 2022 and purchased by a company that made the property available to rent.

Connie Kandel said in an email that her favorite memories in the house all involve spending time with her parents.

“They were so loving, caring and family-oriented,” she wrote in an email. “When I was younger, Mom, Dad, Jeff, Tim, Tom and myself, we would play softball together in the backyard even when we all got older we would get together.”

Kandel said that the children and grandchildren would play basketball or softball or just talk and there was much laughing and joking around.

“You could feel the love that my parents had for each other and also for all of us,” she said. “Everyone that knew them knew how much love was in the air. The house was where I came home from the hospital when I was born. It was my safe place to be. I knew being there nothing bad would ever happen.”

According to the Wayne County Auditor’s website, the house was remodeled in 1960.

Kandel said her parents fixed up the house and added rooms.

“It was built with love and care,” she said.

According to her obituary, Esther Kandel had worked for 18 years at Dutch Kitchen, and passed away in January 2020 at age 78. The love of her life, Marvin, followed a few months later in October 2020. Marvin, who was 80 years old when he passed away, had retired from Buckeye Feed in Dalton, according to his obituary.

Connie noted: “True love – my Dad didn’t want to be without my Mom.”

“So basically the house means the world to me with great memories and where true love existed,” she wrote.

Connie said she had heard that lightning struck the house in the attic and caused the fire.

Many people wrote in The Dalton Gazette & Kidron News’ Facebook page about traffic backed up along U.S. 30 that evening while crews were on scene. Orrville Firefighters Association wrote on its Facebook page firefighters were on the roof to provide topside ventilation. OFD crews were on scene for about two hours. Kidron Volunteer Fire Department’s Facebook page also had photos of the fire and noted two engines and two tankers assisted.

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