FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE a fire that first ignited Friday night at 23652 U.S. 224, east of West Independence. The fire started in an attached garage, but later spread to the house, which exploded. (Photo by M. Leyland Spencer)

WEST INDEPENDENCE — Firefighters were called twice Friday night to a fire that destroyed a house at 23652 U.S. 224, east of West Independence.

Firefighters were first called about 10:56 p.m. Friday, and doused a fire that started in a garage attached to the house.

The occupants of the house got out safely, Washington Township Fire Chief Tom Moses said.

But the fire later restarted, and firefighters returned to the scene about 3:15 a.m. Saturday.

The garage was reportedly engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived the second time. The house then exploded about 3:30 a.m.

The Vanlue, Bascom, Allen Township and New Riegel fire departments helped the Washington Township Fire Department battle the blaze, Moses said.

The last firefighters left the scene about 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

No firefighters were injured, Moses said.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fires, Moses said.

The house, which has a rural Alvada address, is owned by Michael Heyne, according to Hancock County Auditor’s Office records.

The American Red Cross North Central Ohio Chapter provided assistance to the family of four for accommodations and immediate needs such as food and clothing.