INDIAN HILL, Ohio (WCPO) -- Firefighters battled a massive blaze at a multi-million dollar, 10,000 square-foot Indian Hill home Friday, but only smoldering ruins were left from the flames.
About 70 firefighters responded to the stone home in the 9600 block of Cunningham Road at about 3:30 p.m. At times, witnesses said flames reached as high as 30 feet.
The blaze was first called in as a fire in a field. When crews arrived, heavy smoke and flames disguised the exact location of the blaze. The home was engulfed in flames and was unsafe to enter. Before long, the home was a complete loss. Firefighters could only watch as the home was ravaged.
Several witnesses said smoke could be seen all the way from Kenwood and Loveland. Crews nearby reported explosions coming from the two-story home.
According to the Hamilton County Auditor, the home is worth $4 million and owned by 44-year-old Maria L. Decker.
It was built in 2006, sits on 5.3 acres and has 22 rooms: five bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and three half-bathrooms. The home has an elevator and a 1,000 square-foot Gunite steel pool, records show.
Public records indicate the home is also the site of J.R. Decker Builders Inc.
Maria's 20-year-old son Chase Decker wrote on his Facebook page shortly after 4 p.m. that his family was safe, including his dogs.
"Please pray for my family, you will soon see on the news that our home has burned down and there is nothing left of our possessions," the post read.
Later Friday afternoon, neighbors said they heard sounds of breaking glass. Paula Maxwell lives behind the house.
"I at first thought the woods were on fire behind my house," she said.
When she got home Friday, she saw a huge ball of flames, and thought the woods behind her house could have caught fire. Her husband, Paul was also worried.
"It borders the woods you can see, and luckily it's not a windy day," he said. "It's wet so we're hoping that it will be contained."
According to Capt. Clarence Smith of the Madeira - Indian Hill Fire District, there was a fire hydrant on the property, but no sprinkler system inside.
"The one lesson is if you're building a house and you can ... if you want to sprinkle it ... that kind of puts a firefighter there all the time to put water on the fire, but this house was not sprinkled so we didn't have that advantage," Smith explained.
He said firefighters ran into a problem upon arrival, as the home sits at a distance off the street.
"Even though it has a private hydrant on the facility here, didn't have enough water for us," Smith said.
From that point, firefighters had to resort to a tanker relay system, where tankers from multiple fire departments were called to assist, and bring loads of fire. They would unload that water into catch basins, and then use engines to pump the water down the driveway - a quarter-mile to the house.
It was unclear if anyone was at home when the fire broke out. The fire's cause remained under investigation Friday.