The historic home, located at 6477 CR 675 North on old State Road 36, apparently caught fire around 4 p.m. At 7 p.m. firefighters were still struggling with hot spots on the second floor of the home and in the attic. Floyd Township Fire Chef Richard Wood reported that flames were shooting out of every window in the home when the department arrived on the scene.
"We eventually got enough people and water on the scene to get it under control. We had good cooperation from all the emergency personnel," he stated.
Floyd Township does not have a water tanker and had to wait for another township fire department tanker to arrive to get enough water to get the blaze under control.
Around 7 p.m., homeowner Anthony Fernandez collapsed just after burying the second of his dogs, which died in the fire. Another dog had been buried earlier by firefighters. Emergency personnel from PMH (Roachdale Fire Department) treated him at the scene. Fernandez was understandably very upset at the loss of the family pets. Two dogs, two birds and a cat all perished in the fire.
After Hernandez collapsed, a relative of the family commented, "They don't have kids, their pets are like their kids. Maria's bird can say over 60 words. They loved their animals so much."
Neighbors Ron and Rita Herald were out to dinner when another neighbor called and told them smoke was pouring out near their home. The couple hurried back to find their neighbors home in flames. Ron Herald reported, "I thought I smelled rubber burning earlier when we left for dinner. The house is an old historic 'I' house. It's a shame to lose it."
Emergency personnel responded to the fire from Floyd Township, Bainbridge, Danville, Roachdale, Greencastle, Cloverdale, Mill Creek and Eel River (North Salem).
Chief Woody said he expected firefighters to be on the scene all night due to flare ups. The investigation into the cause of the blaze was continuing.