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Published on Jan 13, 2014
INDIAN HILL, Ohio (Angela Ingram) -- A massive home is gutted by a massive fire Friday night.The family is now trying to piece together what happened. Witnesses said they could see flames shooting into the sky from miles away. Now the four million dollar mansion is just a burned out shell.Flames shot high into the air Friday afternoon and thick black smoke filled the sky. Around 3:30p.m. someone saw the fire burning and called 911. But initially firefighters were told the flames were in a field and by the time they got to the home the flames were well ahead of them.Captain Clarence Smith of the Madeira-Indian Hill joint fire team said, Initially we were trying to prevent it from spreading from the one end of the structure that had not been involved. Yet at that point it wasn't totally involved.Fortunately, the Decker family was not home at the time. And the family dogs were outside of the sprawling 10,000 square foot mansion. One of the biggest problems fighting the fire was a lack of water.The distance off the street even though it has a private hydrant on the facility here didn't have enough water for us. So we had to eventually start our tanker operation to supply water.The fire was so massive that nearly 100 people worked on putting out the flames.We've had probably 20 working companies. There's about four people per company. So we're about 80 people. And we have a command staff that's probably another 10 Chiefs from the surrounding departments that are working with us.Crews from several fire departments hauled in water. Firefighters tried to stop the flames from spreading and save at least some portion of the home. But hours later, after dark, they were still dousing the house with water.It's a large structure with some rather large rooms so there's a lot of truss work in the building of it. Even though it appears to be a stone structure, it's not really a stone structure it's a frame and stone veneer.The state fire marshal will investigate the fire because of the size of the home.