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Cleveland Township firefighters spray water into the interior of a mobile home from the front as flames shoot up the outside of the home in the back as they work to extinguish the fire at 29145 Lark St. in Cleveland Township Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. The homeowner was able to escape the fire with several pets. No injuries were reported on the scene. Cleveland, Baugo, Clay, Harris and Osolo townships responded. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard)

Firefighters spray water on the exterior of a mobile home from the back as they work to extinguish the fire at 29145 Lark St. in Cleveland Township Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. The homeowner was able to escape the fire with several pets. No injuries were reported on the scene. Cleveland, Baugo, Clay, Harris and Osolo townships responded. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard)

Homeowner James Brown, left, stands with a friend as they watch his home at 29145 Lark St. in Cleveland Township burn Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. Cleveland Township worked with other township fire departments to extinguish the blaze that caused extensive damage to the home. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard)

Everyone inside escaped this fire in Cleveland Township, but four departments were called to the scene to fight the blaze this morning, Oct. 4. (Truth Photo by Jennifer Shephard)
Fire causes extensive damage to Elkhart home
Posted on Oct. 4, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

ELKHART — A fire that started Wednesday morning caused extensive damage to a house, according to officials.

Mike Graham, assistant chief at the Cleveland Township Fire Department, said the exterior of the residence was barely damaged but the interior seemed a total loss.

He said the origin of the fire was the utility room, but they were not sure if it was the furnace or an eletcrical outlet that sparked the fire.

Firefighters were called to 29145 Lark St. around 8:45 a.m. Richard Newman, fire chief at the Cleveland Township Fire Department, said firefighters started to tackle the fire from inside the house but were cautious because they were waiting for Indiana Michigan Power to shut off the electricity.

Smoke, flames and sparks were still coming out from behind the residence a half hour later, but Cleveland firefighters had it under control around 9:30 a.m.

Newman said it was too soon to determine the cause and origin of the fire, or to estimate the amount of damage.

“It’s pretty damaged from what I can tell from the outside,” he said.

James Brown, the owner of the house, sat next to a recreational vehicle with a friend, watching as firefighters worked to extinguish the fire. He said he heard the smoke detector, so he took his granddaughter and his dog with him and escaped uninjured.

He said he didn’t know what caused the fire.

“It was something in the hallway,” he suspected.

His granddaughter stayed with him and his wife that night. His wife was out at the time the fire started.

He wasn’t sure where he would live while his home is restored. Graham said the fire department called the Red Cross to aid the family.

Cleveland, Baugo, Osolo, Clay and Harris township fire departments were on the scene.