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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Pet raccoon bites through cord, causes house fire

Monday, May 8, 2006

Fillmore Fire officials battled an electrical blaze at the home and office of the John Marsee family near Fillmore.

Fire Chief Mike Davies reported the fire at 3139 S. CR 500 East began just before 8 a.m. Sunday, when a baby raccoon the family was sheltering bit through the cord of a heating pad which had been turned off but remained plugged into the wall.

Davies said it was the quick thinking of Marsee's daughter and wife which saved the rest of the home.

"They woke up, smelled smoke, opened the doors to the office on the south side of the building, saw the smoke, shut the doors to the office, then went outside and called 911," he said.

He explained the fire consumed all the oxygen in the room and put itself out.

"Because of their instincts or good luck, they shut the doors and the damage was held to the office area," Davies said.

No damage estimate would be available, the fire chief said, until costs to Marsee's business office equipment is understood.

To battle the fire, Davies said firefighters used pots and pans from the home's kitchen to extinguish the remaining sparks.

"We put embers in a trash can and took it outside," he said. "There was extensive smoke damage, but we only used 5 gallons of water."

John Marsee and another daughter were away at a school function at the time of the fire. While there were no human injuries, Davies said the raccoon the family had been keeping died.

While the Marsee family was able to contain the fire from damaging the rest of their home, Davies said another Fillmore family will have to contend with more substantial damage to their home after a fire last week.

Flames which began in the garage of the home of Lonnie Morlan and family at 92 Putnam Street moved into the attic of the structure at approximately 10:45 p.m. May 1.

Davies said firefighters used 6,000-7,000 gallons of water to save the home but lost at least 40 percent of the house to fire, smoke and water damage.

"The garage was totally gone," he said. "There was nothing left."

Davies said there were no injuries at the Morlan fire either.

At the fires, Fillmore Volunteer Fire Department received aid from Greencastle, Jefferson Township and Floyd Township firefighters as well as Operation Life and the Putnam County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

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