A pair of firefighters suffered minor injuries Friday as more than 10 fire companies battled a fire in York Township.
Liberty Township Fire Chief Lloyd Segner said the home at 19020 Powder Lick Road, Raymond, was a total loss.
Segner said the owner was working in his field about 4:14 p.m. Friday. The man looked up and saw a column of smoke coming from his home. There was no one inside the home at the time.
“It was basically fully engulfed by the time we got there,” Segner said.
The chief said a column of smoke was visible for miles and crews marked it as a working fire before they even arrived on scene.
The chief said crews went into the home, “but then the ceiling began to collapse so we got out.”
He said firefighters from his crew as well as 10 others worked to keep the fire from spreading from the single-story home.
“It was wind-driven,” Segner said. “We had a terrible time with the wind.”
He added, “it was a mess, it was a heck of a fire.”
Segner said a firefighter from Richwood “was having difficulty breathing” and was taken by squad to Marion General Hospital. He said one of his firefighters fell and was going to be examined this week.
“I would say two minor injuries,” Segner said
Powder Lick was closed to allow tankers into and out of the property. Segner said crews used a pair of nearby ponds “to make sure we were keeping everything filled.”
“It worked well because we were able to get a rotation of tankers,” Segner said.
He added, “The water supply was good and we did a good job with it.”
Segner said it was about 2:30 a.m. before his department returned to the station.
“It was a long day for us,” Segner said.
Segner said the man had worked in construction and had excavating equipment on-site.
“He helped us knock it down or we might still be there dealing with hot spots,” Segner said.
The home was built in 2001 and valued at almost $305,000.
The chief explained that a team of local investigators was at the scene.
“It is still under investigation at this time,” Segner said, though he said arson has been ruled out.
He added the investigation was “a learning experience” for some team members.
Segner said the team believes it knows what started the fire, but officials want to allow the insurance company to do their investigation also.
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