Goshen Fire destroys two homes

GOSHEN, Ind. -- Some neighbors in Goshen are worried an arsonist could be among them and they fear their home might be next. An early morning fire destroyed a house and the flames were so intense that the fire spread to the home next door in the 400 block of North 5th Street.

No one was injured in the fire. Ron Davidhizar, the owner, told ABC 57 News that both of the homes were unoccupied.

Although the Goshen Fire Department hasn't ruled the fire an arson, Davidhizar said he is pretty confident someone set the fire deliberately and that has other people who live in the neighborhood worried.

Battalion Chief Scott McDowell of the Goshen Fire Department said, "Around 5:04 this morning all of Goshen's Fire units responded. One home spread rapidly to the other one. The winds were out of the southwest, spreading the smoke and fire in that direction."

Davidhizar lives about 100 feet away from where the fire started. He said it is close enough that smoldering debris landed in his yard.

"There were flames coming up over the top of the white one (427 N. 5th Street)."

He said the fire and police sirens woke him up and he rushed to his window and saw the blaze.

Eva Woods and her husband and their three children are the only tenants that live in the 400 block of 5th Street. She said all the other homes are vacant.

"The one house (425 N. 5th Street) is completely gone and the other one (427 N. 5th Street) is basically a total loss now. We were really lucky the wind wasn't blowing this direction, because all these houses you can see how old they are and it would have took less than nothing to taken them all down," said Woods.

Davidhizar doesn't just live in the neighborhood, he owns all of the homes in the 400 block of North 5th Street, including the two that were destroyed.

"These were houses that I had put time and money into," he said.

He told ABC 57 news he was refurbishing both homes and he did not have either home insured. He said the electric was turned off completely at 427 N. 5th Street and there was one outlet in the basement of the home located at 425 N. 5th Street that was live.

Davidhizar said, "I do appreciate antique cars and there was an antique Daimler in this garage stored there. I don't think there is anything that can be reclaimed on that car it looks like it is totally burned."

He said his Daimler make and model resembled the royal family's vehicle they are seen on TV being escorted to and from London events.

Battalion Chief McDowell said the cause of the fire has not yet been determined. "Obviously we have the area of origin, which would be house number one, spreading to house number two, but as far as a cause, we can't determine that yet at this time."

However, Davidhizar is pretty determined the cause will be arson and so is Wood, his tenant.

"It's really kind of scary to think about somebody is just walking around setting random fires, you know you don't know if your (house) is going to be next," said Woods.

Goshen Fire Department is asking anyone with information on this fire to call them at (574) 875-4315. Information leading to the arrest of person(s) responsible for this fire may be eligible for for rewards of up to $5000.

Home video of this fire was provided by neighbors: Monica and Jose Cruz.

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