The Shelbyville Fire Department responded to a house fire south of Shelbyville on Monday night. No one was injured, however the structure was a total loss.

“We got the call about 5:15 p.m.,” said Shelbyville Fire Chief Gary Lynch. “We could see the flames from two miles away. The structure was fully engulfed in flames when we arrived. We spent time just knocking the fire down.”

According to the report, the occupant of the house was an elderly woman, Grace Lavonne Reider, 83. The house was located on 876 North Road. To get to the house, one must turn east on 876 North Road off 1800 East Road (Copeland Road) 3.5 miles south of Shelbyville.

The private lane road goes 1/4 mile east and then turns south for another 1/4 mile leading to the house, back on the edge of the timber.

“When we arrived she was out of the house,” Chief Lynch said. “She was sitting in a vehicle.”

According to her son, Marty Reider, she saw smoke in her mobile home and called him. He told her to get out of the house and he called the fire department and went to her place. Her dog did not survive.

The fire was contained to the mobile home and an adjacent wooden building. Although there is no hydrant or pond as a water source at that address, Chief Lynch said they never ran out of water.

“We had three tankers there and then mutual aid arrived from Tower Hill, Windsor, and Strasburg fire departments,” Lynch said. “So, we never ran out of water. The residence was just too far gone when we got there.”

When Shelbyville tankers ran out of water they shuttled water from a hydrant about two miles away, back across the Copeland Bridge. Although there are hydrants a mile away, it was the closest, easily accessible one for refilling the tankers considering the ground conditions.

When the trucks left the residence to refill their tanks they had to back out of the lane, due to the muddy conditions.

The fire did not last as long as some do. Shelbyville Fire Department was cleared at the station by 8:30 p.m.

John Curtis can be reached at

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