HARTFORD – A Hartford man lost his home while he was hunting on Sunday morning after what fire officials appear to see as “a space heater fire.”

The home owner in the 200 block of Delmar in Hartford, who wished to remain anonymous, said he purchased the space heater only about a week or two ago.

“Everything was fine when I left to go coyote hunting,” he said. “I have a friend who has a place by Pere Marquette Park and I was coyote hunting there this morning. I got a voice mail from the Wood River Police and the officer said that my house had caught fire.”

The man dropped everything and returned home and his reaction was one of disbelief when he arrived to meet Hartford Fire Chief Bill Owens. The Hartford man said the house was probably 100 years old and had been in his family for years and years.

“My grandma’s dad built this house for her,” he said. “My mom grew up here and I bought it. I was going to sell it to my nephew in a few years.”

Owens said the fire page came out at 4:10 a.m. He said the fire was extinguished quickly once the various departments arrived and overhaul began at 4:40 a.m. on Sunday.

“It appears the fire started in the back bedroom after a space heater failure or it was too close to combustibles,” he said. “We got it knocked out fast once we got here. We had Hartford Fire Department, Roxana, South Roxana and Wood River all come. Mitchell Fire Department moved up as a station back up.”

Unfortunately, Owens said the house is likely “a total loss,” due to the devastating fire.

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