Alert Neighbor, Rapid Response Saves Couple’s Lives, Home From Fire

An alert neighbor is credited with saving the lives and property of a Crothersville couple after their residence was found with smoke coming from the attic last week.

Shortly before 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20, Erin Vernon called 911 to report a fire at 208 East Main Street across the street from her.

First on the scene was Crothersville Police Officer Kelly Barger who was able to wake up Brian Davis and Heather Trapp and get them to safety from their burning house.

“When we pulled up there was smoke coming from the eaves and fire from the east side of the house near the roof,” said Crothersville Vernon Township Fire Chief Ben Spencer. “We sent two firefighters inside to make sure no other people were still in there.”

Spencer said firefighters cut a hole in the east and south side of the roof to fight the fire and had in contained within 15 minutes.

“Most of the fire was in the attic with a little fire damage in the kitchen,” he said. “It appears to be electrical in nature starting around the home’s fuse box in the kitchen.”

The chief said firefighters were able to get the couple’s two dogs and two cats safely outside. Davis and Trapp were able to get much of their personal belongings out without much damage, he said.

Spencer said his department was toned out at 8:54 p.m. and arrived on the scene six minutes later. “We had a good response with 10 volunteer firefighters on the scene. The neighbor’s early notification and our department’s quick response kept the damage as minimal as it could be,” he said.

Local firefighters were on the scene for three hours. They received assistance from the Jennings Township VFD in Austin.