Fire destroys Greencastle home

Friday, November 23, 2007
Greencastle firefighters continue their work at the scene of a Wednesday morning house fire on Avenue D in Greencastle.

A child playing with a lighter apparently started a fire Wednesday morning that gutted a Greencastle home and destroyed everything inside, firefighters said.

The family -- two adults and three children -- was home when the blaze started, but made it out safely. They watched, still in their pajamas and stocking feet, in horror as firefighters battled the blaze for about an hour.

Greencastle firefighters were dispatched to 1009 Avenue D shortly after 9 a.m. When they arrived, they found the front of the house fully engulfed in flames, said Greencastle Fire Chief Bill Newgent.

After conducting interviews and investigating the fire damage, firefighters determined that by a child playing with a lighter in the closet of the front bedroom accidentally started the fire, he said.

The damage to the house is estimated at $60,000 and nearly everything in the home was destroyed in the blaze, Newgent added.

The occupant of the house is Samantha Pitts. The names and ages of her children were not available.

The home is owned by Opportunity Housing of Putnam County, a nonprofit group that provides low-cost housing to local residents. The agency completed a $50,000 renovation of the house in January, said Debbie Davis, the group's director.

Fortunately Opportunity Housing has another house that was recently completed on Avenue B Street and Davis said she hoped to move the family into the new home soon.

Representatives from the Red Cross are assisting the family, said Carol Stevens, the director of the Wabash Valley Red Cross.

The Red Cross typically supplies money for food, temporary housing and clothing to families who are the victims of fire, though she could not go into detail about what the agency will provide the specifically to Pitts and her family.Fire destroys Greencastle home

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