Reelsville Fire Department, assisted by several departments, was dispatched to the blaze at 4:59 p.m. and found the structure at 4730 C.R. 325W (Manhattan Road) fully involved.
According to Reelsville Fire Chief John McPherson, Thursday's weather, coupled with the house's construction, likely made the fire spread quicker than expected.
"We were there within six minutes and there wasn't anything we could do," he said.
The fire likely started from a candle left burning on a table in the living room.
"They had opened the windows, and the wind was strong enough that we believe it blew some long curtains into the candle," McPherson said. "With the house being open and the wind, it just took off."
Couple this with the structure being a log home -- wood floors, wood walls, wood ceiling, wood roof -- and the fire took off quickly.
"It's just unfortunate. The construction of the home and the wind -- it just went up. I couldn't believe it," McPherson said.
The loss might have been greater, though, if not for a small stroke of luck. Fire units from Greencastle and Cloverdale Township were on the training grounds on the south side of Greencastle -- minutes from the fire. They were on the scene by 5:05 p.m.
"There was a garage that was close to it that was just starting to catch on fire," Greencastle chief Bill Newgent said. "Fire units put the garage out and then directed their efforts toward the house."
Winds also made containing the fire to the structure a bit tricky.
"With it being a little bit windy, it had spread into a grass fire on the north side of the house as well, so we had that to deal with initially," McPherson said. "It spread into the woods and the nearby property."
The house quickly became the main focus, though, and McPerson said the blaze was 90 percent out by 5:45 p.m. From there, they had several hours of extinguishing hot spots and helping the family with the removal of possessions.
McPherson estimated the loss to be $90,000 for the structure and $20,000 for the contents.
"It did get into the basement stairwell, but they were able to salvage quite a bit of stuff from the basement. Everything on the first floor was totaled," he said.
The family, a man, woman and young girl, were assisted by the American Red Cross and are now staying with family.
The assisting fire departments included Greencastle, Cloverdale Township, Putnamville Correctional Facility, Madison Township and Bainbridge, which provided the rehab vehicle, as well as covering the Greencastle station.
"All the departments just work so well together. It's just kind of interchangeable," McPherson said. "Everybody did a great job and nobody got hurt; that's a big thing."