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By:  Star Beacon - Doris Cook

ASHTABULA — Margaret Sheasley tearfully eyed Thursday afternoon the blackened and fire gutted remains of the house on West 52nd Street she co-owned with friend, Theressa Evans. The house was heavily damaged by a blaze fought by city and Ashtabula Township firefighters at around 11 a.m.

City firefighters were called to the 945 W. 52nd Street address just before 11 a.m. after a passerby spotted the flames. The cause of the fire is still under investigation and no damage estimate was available, a city fire department spokesman said

Flames were coming out the upstairs bedrooms, first floor ceilings and onto the porch area. A water supply line was laid from West Avenue because of a broken hydrant near the house, officials said.

Sheasley said she and Evans bought the house a year ago, put $20,000 worth of renovations in it to bring it up to code. Evans said relatives had been renting the house and moved out without notice earlier in the week.

“We came over Wednesday and found items stolen out of the house including ceiling fans and wiring. We boarded up windows so no one could get in,” Evans said.

The women reported the thefts of interior items to Ashtabula city police.

“We don’t have any insurance on the house. We planned to continue to fix it up and rent it for income,” Sheasley said.

The women expect to be forced to tear down what’s left of the building as a result of the fire.

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