HOUSE DESTROYED: A wood stove was believed to be the cause of a house fire at 10589 NW Front St. in Dupont on Tuesday. Fire crews from Madison Township and Dupont worked for several hours to extinguish the blaze. (Staff photo by Seth Grundhoefer/sgrundhoefer@madisoncourier.com)
HOUSE DESTROYED: A wood stove was believed to be the cause of a house fire at 10589 NW Front St. in Dupont on Tuesday. Fire crews from Madison Township and Dupont worked for several hours to extinguish the blaze. (Staff photo by Seth Grundhoefer/sgrundhoefer@madisoncourier.com)
Fire crews spent several hours Tuesday extinguishing a blaze that destroyed a home in Dupont.

A female resident at 10589 NW Front St. returned home to discover the fire about 9 a.m. She escaped unharmed, but fire crews believe the family's two dogs were killed in the blaze.

When Dupont and Madison Township fire companies arrived on scene to the two-story home, Dupont Fire Chief Ed Meek said the fire already had been burning for quite some time. Smoke from the flames could be seen well past the town limits.

"The way I understand it, it probably had a two-and-half hour head start on us," Meek said. "And that's why there was so much structural damage."

By Tuesday afternoon, most of the roof had collapsed and fire crews could still not enter the structure, but the flames had been put out.

The home's owner, Denver Graves, told Meek that there was a fire in a stove pipe earlier that morning around 5:30 a.m. that was thought to have been put out. The house's occupant, Teresa Matthews, returned to the home hours later to find that the fire had rekindled and was fully engulfed, Meek said.

Tom Boggs, who lives nearby, said he saw the flames and thick smoke rolling above the neighborhood. He rushed to the house before fire units arrived and opened the front door only to find that the structure was too dangerous to enter.

Boggs said he heard what sounded like gunshot rounds being set off in the fire. The fire crews and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department later confirmed that ammunition was inside the house and, in fact, did ignite.

"We heard that, and I backed off," Boggs said.

At that time, another neighbor advised one of the residents to stay out of the house.

"It was rolling pretty good," he said. "And it was too bad for anybody to be going in."