SELLERSBURG — A Sellersburg home was damaged after a fire broke out Monday, but no injuries were reported.
Firefighters from both Clark and Floyd counties extinguished a structure fire Monday afternoon at the 3000 block of Shagbark Trail in Sellersburg. The residents were not home when the fire broke out, and firefighters rescued the homeowner's pet corgi, Ein, from the structure. As of about 2:30 p.m., the family's cat had not been found, but it was believed to have escaped the structure.
Matt Owen, captain at New Chapel EMS, said the fire department was dispatched to the house fire at 12:08 p.m., and the first engine was on scene within 10 minutes. The crew reported heavy fire and smoke coming from the structure and requested additional assistance from Lafayette Township Fire Protection District and Tri-Township Fire Department. About 35 responders were on scene.
Brian Combs, whose daughter, Brandice Sutton, lives in the house with her husband Steve Sutton, said their baby was staying with grandparents in New Albany at the time the fire started, and the couple were both at work. Family members have already told the couple they could stay with them, he said, and the Red Cross was providing help with housing, clothing and other needed resources. The family was already planning to celebrate Thanksgiving at another home.
Fortunately, the couple have insurance, he said.
"It's just devastating," Combs said. "They're just happy they got some stuff that's salvageable that they're getting out of there."
It took just a few minutes for crews to get the fire under control, and they were able to save much of the structure, according to Owen. Most of the roof was destroyed in the blaze, and there was significant water and smoke damage, but the house "largely is intact," he said.
"Getting resources here was a tremendous help," Owen said. "We were able to supply water from the hydrant down the street. Tri-Township Fire Protection did help us with pumping water from the hydrant to the scene."
The investigation into the cause of the fire was ongoing as of mid-afternoon, but the fire seems to have started on the garage side of the house before carrying over through the attic and void space, he said.
"This is a great time to remind folks to have your smoke detectors working and have those batteries — make sure you're not overloading any power strips, heaters or anything like that," he said. "And having neighbors that look out for each other is a major help, also."
Neighbor Janet Lee, who lives across from the house, said she heard a "bang, bang, bang" noise from the structure that sounded like ammunition before she viewed smoke coming from the garage, and she called the fire department around 12:05 p.m.
Owen said as the first crews responded to the scene, there were reports of live ammunition going off within the structure, but due to the ongoing investigation, he did not provide further information.
"There are certainly a number of dangers involved in making entry into a house fire, and our guys took all of those into consideration and did a good job today," he said.