A fire destroyed in a few hours much of the log home it had taken two brothers in Christopher Creek 18 months to build.
Neighbors living near the unoccupied house called the Christopher-Kohl's Fire District Thanksgiving morning to report smoke coming from the 4,400-square-foot structure. Chief Terry Bailey's crew responded, and called in the Diamond-Star Fire Department and the Payson Fire Department for assistance.
"When the first units responded, there was heavy smoke coming from the house," Diamond-Star Chief Gary Hatch said. "By the time we arrived, the fire was on the first floor living area, and had spread up into the attic of the second floor."
The blaze was tough to fight for a number of reasons, Hatch said, not the least of which was the fact that the fire had burned through the floor on the first level.
"The house was also built with a metal roof, and a metal ceiling on it," Hatch said. "That's why it took so long to put out."
Twenty-seven firefighters from the three departments fought the fire throughout the morning, finally declaring it under control at 12:29 p.m.
Firefighters estimate the blaze destroyed 50 percent of the home, but said the damage would likely have been minimized if sprinklers had been installed.
"Had this home been sprinklered, damages would have probably been less than $1,000," Payson Fire Chief John Ross said.
"Instead, they're looking at huge damages," Hatch said.
Payson Fire Marshal Jack Babb is investigating the cause of the fire.