Fire that damaged parts of Elkhart home ruled accidental (video)
Posted: 01/30/2013 at 2:00 pm
By: Truth Staff
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While firefighters work to contain a house fire at the corner of Osolo Road and Grover Street in Elkhart, Ind., neighbor Derek Muncie (bottom left) keeps the family's dogs calm. Crews from the Elkhart, Osolo Township and Cleveland Township fire departments responded at approximately 11:30 a.m. No one was home at the time of the fire, and neighbors were able to save the family's four dogs. (Truth Photo By Ryan Dorgan)
Monica Burchard (left) and her sister Tabby Roberts watch as crews from the Elkhart, Osolo Township and Cleveland Township fire departments contain a fire inside Burchard's home at the corner of Osolo Road and Grover Street in Elkhart, Ind. No one was home at the time of the fire, and neighbors were able to rescue the family's four dogs. (Truth Photo By Ryan Dorgan)
Homeowner Monica Burchard (right) and her sister Tabby Roberts speak with firefighters after arriving home about an hour after crews from the Elkhart, Osolo Township and Cleveland Township fire departments responded to a house fire at the corner of Osolo Road and Grover Street in Elkhart, Ind., at approximately 11:30 a.m. (Truth Photo By Ryan Dorgan)
Elkhart City Fire Department was called to 1701 Osolo Road at about 11:26 a.m., according to dispatch.
A neighbor said she saw flames and smoke coming from a basement window and called in the alarm. The neighbor also reported that she and her family entered the home and retrieved four dogs from the residence.
“I was just sitting at the kitchen table when I saw smoke coming out of the basement,” she said. “We also saw flames coming out and we knew they had dogs in the house.”
Monica Burchard, the owner of the house, said everyone in her family was away at work and school. A friend of the family called her son, and her son called to tell her about the fire.
When she arrived at the house and saw her dogs running around in the fenced back yard, she thanked her neighbors, who were waiting outside the house until she arrived.
“We were more worried about the dogs,” she said. “That's just stuff.
However, a pet parrot was lost in the fire.
The fire was under control by 11:52 a.m., according to dispatch.
Chief fire investigator Rob Smith said the fire originated at the basement and that it was accidental. He said during his investigation he found smoldering parts of a cigarette. Smith added that a couch in the basement caught on fire and that the fire spread from there. However, the fire was contained to the basement and part of the kitchen on the first floor. He said it was possible that the fire didn't spread any further because the windows and doors leading to the basement were closed.
Smith said most of the fire damage was to the basement. There was also smoke damage throughout the house.
Osolo Township and Cleveland Township fire departments aided Elkhart City Fire Department.