Arson may be to blame for an early-morning fire in Dayton that left two women and an 8-year-old child homeless.
The fire, which appears to have been deliberately set on the porch at 3:15 a.m., entered the 6-inch attic space of the mobile home, slowly creeping along the insulation, until firefighters could contain it two hours later.
One of the occupants of the home was asleep in a front bedroom when she heard a thud. When she looked outside, she could see the flames of the porch fire reflected in the window, said Mary Ellen Holly, fire prevention specialist with Central Lyon County Fire.
"The other lady went out and put it out with a fire extiguisher not realizing it had gotten into the attic and the eaves," she explained.
Only light smoke was visible before firefighters determined the fire had gone into the attic space.
"They spent their time chasing it as it crept along," she said. "Trying to get ahead of it."
Although the roof was lost, firefighters were able to save most of the interior rooms and personal items.
One of the occupants was treated for smoke inhalation.
The Red Cross is assisting the family with housing and personal needs.
The fire is being investigated.