FLOYD COUNTY — One woman is dead after a fire at her Floyd County home early Friday which drew assistance from four different fire departments.

Capt. Matt Owen with the New Chapel Fire Company said they received a call around 1 a.m. of the fire, which had been reported at 709 Mills Lane in Floyd County. En route, crews could see the blaze from Interstate 265.

"It was massive," he said, adding that it took crews 12 minutes to get to the scene, which was complicated by the wood cabin type home being atop a steep hill with no hydrants nearby. They had to call Georgetown and Greenville township fire protection district departments to aid with tanker trucks. Lafayette Township Fire Protection District also responded.

Owen confirmed that a woman had lived there with her children, who were not home at the time of the fire. Though the blaze was fierce when crews arrived, they did try to enter the home at two different points "however, they were unable to search the entire residence due to the volume of the fire," he said.

This is the second fatal house fire in Floyd County in just over a week. Cynthia Schuler died at Baptist Health Floyd after a fire at her home at 3012 Evanna Court Jan. 16.

"We can't stress enough that people need to have working smoke detectors," Owen said. "Both fires were reported by people who were not living at the home, it was either a neighbor or a passerby...early detection is what saves lives and saves property."

A representative from the Indiana Stet Fire Marshall's Office confirmed that both fires are still under investigation. Floyd County Coroner Steve Burks said he wouldn't have information regarding the woman's identity until after the autopsy, which is expected to take place this weekend.

Sgt. Ryan Houchen with the Lafayette Township Fire Protection District, which was lead on the fire last week on Evanna Court, reiterated Owen's call for having smoke detectors.

"It's a tragedy," he said. "We feel bad for the families that have to deal with these tragedies."

He added that counseling is available for firefighters affected by the incidents.

Aprile Rickert is the crime and courts reporter at the News and Tribune. Contact her via email at aprile.rickert@newsandtribune.com or by phone at 812-206-2115. Follow her on Twitter: @Aperoll27.

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