Fire heavily damages Reelsville area home

Monday, June 18, 2007
A Sunday fire caused major damage to the inside of Chris Donis' home on CR 1200 South near Reelsville.

Temperatures in the 90s and high humidity made fighting a house fire near Reelsville on Sunday afternoon all the more difficult for firefighters.

Almost a dozen agencies responded to the home on CR 1200 South at around 1 p.m. for a fire that officials believe started from an extension cord that was plugged into a halogen lamp and fan.

Reelsville Fire Chief John McPherson, whose department was the first to arrive on scene, noticed flames and heavy smoke coming from the home and immediately requested support from additional fire departments.

A total of 38 firefighters from seven fire departments in Putnam and Clay counties fought to extinguish the fire for about three hours.

"Everyone did a great job and worked very hard to put out the fire in a safe and timely manner," McPherson said.

Those agencies responding included Reelsville Fire, Greencastle, Cloverdale Township, Madison Town-ship, Jackson Township, Van Buren Township, Putnamville Correctional Facility, Bainbridge Fire, Operation Life, Putnam County Sheriff's Depar-tment and Putnam County Red Cross.

McPherson said he requested extra help mostly because he wanted to have enough water standing by to fight the extremely hot fire.

Air temperatures in the 90s, high humidity and the fact that the home's walls were made completely of brick all contributed to a difficult, and dangerous, situation for firefighters, McPherson explained. No injuries were reported.

"With the extreme heat and humidity, a second alarm was called so that we had plenty of help to rotate in and out (of the fire)," McPherson said.

Homeowner Chris Donis was in Terre Haute at the time of the fire and later told investigators he had left the halogen light on and the fan running while he was gone. When he returned home, he saw smoke coming from the eaves of the house and reported it to emergency officials.

McPherson said the fire gutted the home, with an estimated damage of $50,000 to the structure and $10,000 to the contents. Red Cross provided the victim with a hotel room for the night.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: