Fire damages parts of Elkhart home

A neighbor retrieved four dogs from the home.

Posted on Jan. 30, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 30, 2013 at 5:08 p.m.

ELKHART — Three fire departments battled a house fire at the corner of Grover Avenue and Osolo Road today, Jan. 30.

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.

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