Fire destroys Mount Vernon home before new year

A husband and wife will start the new year homeless after a three-alarm fire ripped through their Mount Vernon home Sunday, killing their pets.

Fire officials believe the blaze started in the basement of the Lawrence Street home around 2 a.m. before spreading to the attic. A gaping hole sits where the living room was and the home will likely be demolished.

"It was very hot," said Mount Vernon Fire Department Deputy Chief Al Everett. "Flames were blowing out the window like a blowtorch."

Dozens of firefighters took more than five hours to get the flames under control, but not before Dr. Rufus Sadler and his wife, Carolyn, lost their birds and dog.

The couple was at work when the fire broke out and plans to stay with relatives.The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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