86-year-old woman escapes explosive house fire in Butler County

Elderly woman and son escape Trenton house fire

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - An elderly woman and her son escaped a house fire in Trenton Wednesday night untouched.

Anita Shepherd, 86, had been living in the house on the 200 Block of E Home Ave. since 1961.

In 911 calls, you can hear one caller saying, "There's a house on fire across the street from us, it's, it's exploding literally."

Video taken by a neighbor shows the house completely engulfed in flames.

Shepherd did not want to speak to FOX19 NOW, but we spoke with her daughter, Gina McClaskey.

McClaskey says her brother was sleeping in the living room when the fire started. He heard a noise, then got himself and his mother out.

“We got a phone call that my mom’s house burnt down,” McClaskey said. “I think she was really in shock because everything was so dark last night.”

McClaskey says they went back to the house Thursday.

“She was like, ‘Oh my Lord,’ and realized exactly what had happened," McClaskey said.

An explosive house fire engulfed Anita Shepherd's home in Butler County.
An explosive house fire engulfed Anita Shepherd's home in Butler County. (Source: Provided)

Not only did Shepherd lose her home, she lost her car, which was parked in the driveway. The fire caused its windows to break, and there’s damage to the front.

“There’s nothing left,” said McClaskey. “They literally got out with the pajamas they had on and that was it. Nothing else.”

Neighbors in the area came together to help Shepherd and her son. Jessie Grabert, a local victim response coordinator, posted on Facebook asking people if they wanted to help with donations.

"Within minutes, my phone, this was at three o'clock in the morning, my phone was going off," said Grabert.

Good Samaritans dropped off clothing and much more on Jessie’s doorstep. FOX19 NOW was there when Grabert brought in bags of clothes and other necessities for Shepherd and her son.

“I said I don’t know who you are but I appreciate it. I love ya, Thank you,” said McClaskey. “As much as stuff matters, body and body parts matter more, and they got out. Thank the Lord.”

Shepherd also lost an antique piano in the fire. She had played piano for several churches in the state.

Another family is displaced because of the fire. The flames damaged a wall on a house next to Shepherd’s. They say they have somewhere to stay.

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