Residents out safely as Jefferson Township home lost to fire
MOUNT MERIDIAN — A Jefferson Township man’s life might just have been saved Friday morning when his wife realized she had forgotten something for work.
Beth Little reportedly turned her vehicle around and returned home to find the house on fire.
Johnny Little was still sleeping inside the home, so Beth woke him and alerted authorities.
The three-alarm fire eventually brought at least 10 area departments to their home at 4720 S. County Road 550 East, just north of Putnam Park Road Course.
Jefferson Township Fire Chief Rick Cooper heard the call at 6:59 a.m. and was the first on the scene, as he lives just up the road.
The chief helped the Littles rescue their dogs from the burning structure.
A Jefferson Township engine, followed immediately by another from the Greencastle Fire Department were soon on the scene as well.
A number of other departments were eventually on scene, providing manpower, equipment and water.
Cooper said the fire started in the northwest corner of the house and soon progressed up the wall into the second floor.
It was on the second floor and roof that firefighters concentrated many of their efforts throughout the morning, though the home was heavily damaged throughout.
Cooper estimated the house, which he deemed a total loss, was built in the late 1800s. He credited the building methods and materials of the time (wood, lath and plaster) as the reason it was still standing by mid-morning.
“It’s built out of real wood and that’s why it hasn’t collapsed,” Cooper said. “Otherwise it would probably be on the ground.”
Firefighters were still battling fire in spots after 9 a.m.
Fire departments on the scene included Jefferson Township, Greencastle, Cloverdale, Putnamville Correctional Facility, Washington Township, Fillmore and Amo, Liberty Township, Plainfield and Danville from Hendricks County.
Putnam County Operation Life was on the scene for medical support, though neither the residents nor any firefighters were injured.
Other responding agencies included the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, Hendricks Power and the American Red Cross.