MANHATTAN -- A faulty air-conditioning unit is being blamed for a Saturday evening fire that destroyed a mobile home near Tesmer Corner on Manhattan Road in southwestern Putnam County.
Reelsville Volunteer Fire Department Chief John McPherson reported that the house trailer residence of Linda Cain, 54591 S. County Road 375 West (Manhattan Road), was destroyed in the blaze.
By the time the first truck reached the scene at 6:20 p.m., smoke and flames were spewing out the back side of the trailer. Fortunately, no one was at home at the time.
Some 30 firefighters, including 14 from Reelsville, responded to the scene and were able to knock down the fire within 15 minutes, McPherson said.
However, the residence required excessive "overhaul," he said, requiring firefighters to go in a tear out the ceiling. Because of the location of main fire source and the confined quarters, the sides of the trailer had to be ripped off to remove the walls and keep the fire from spreading.
Total loss was estimated at $20,000.
Authorities believe the air-conditioner shorted out, causing the fire. The fire spread quickly inside because of items stacked near the air conditioner, fire officials said.
Reelsville was assisted at the scene by fire departments from Greencastle, Cloverdale Township, Madison Township, Bainbridge and the Indiana State Farm. Operation Life ambulance was also on the scene.