Fire Destroys Home West Of Town

A fire believed to have started from a heat lamp to keep water pipes from freezing totally destroyed a 100-year-old home west of Crothersville last Wednesday afternoon.

Firefighters with the Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department were called to 6871 S 850 E at 2:22 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29, according to local fire chief Lynn Howard.

When firefighters arrived smoke and flames were going through the roof.

Howard said the home was owned by Dara Burnett and rented to Bill Seal. The chief said Seal reported he smelled smoke, went outside to the exterior cellar door and looked in to see the cellar full of smoke. He immediately called 911.

Howard said the older home was constructed of native timbers which created a very hot fire and caused a rapid spread up the walls and into the attic.

“Because of the cold weather, a heat lamp was used to keep pipes from freezing. We suspicion that that was the cause of the fire,” said the chief.

Howard said firefighters from the local and Jennings Township Department in Austin used 20,985 gallons of water to fight the fire. Fire fighters were on the scene until 10:51 p.m. Wednesday night extinguishing hot spots.

Howard estimated the loss at $225,000 on home and contents.