Walesboro home destroyed by fire

Firefighters said they believe a homemade treatment for bedbugs contributed to the cause of a Monday night fire that destroyed a Walesboro-area home.

Homeowner Lila Wedan had used rubbing alcohol on flooring and furniture Monday inside her residence at 6174 S. Jonesville Road to exterminate the insects, said Wayne Township Fire Chief Rick Trimpe. When Wedan fell asleep on her living room couch with a lit cigarette, there was still enough residual alcohol that a fire started, Trimpe said.

Wedan woke up after a smoke detector activated just before 7:30 p.m. Monday, Trimpe said. She saw smoke and flames in the 40-year-old one-story house, and went out the front door, escaping injury, he said. “She was very lucky,” Trimpe said.

However, Wedan’s pet dachshund died in the fire.

Trimpe, who arrived first at the scene, saw flames shooting up through the eaves, windows, attic and front door of the home, he said.

Wayne Township firefighters worked at the scene for about two hours but said the home was gutted in the fire. Damage to the house is estimated at about $95,000, while content loss will likely run at about $15,000, Trimpe said.

Wedan was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital to be checked as a precaution, Trimpe said.

Wayne Township firefighters were assisted by firefighters from Columbus and Harrison Township, as well as volunteers from the Southwest and Elizabethtown fire departments.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5636.