High winds hampered Salem firefighters in their efforts to fight a blaze in that community Thursday. The Department was dispatched just before 5 pm to a house fire at 203 E. Van Buren. At that time it was reported that the side of the house was on fire and the fire was spreading quickly. Chief Steve Nichting said his crew had a good response time but the wind fueled the fire like a torch, creating a big problem. The house was destroyed. Chief Nichting said it was almost impossible to determine what started the fire but it could have been a wood stove. The department was back Friday morning early to keep the fire from re-igniting.