Multiple fire crews on the scene of house fire in Elkhart

NOW: Multiple fire crews on the scene of house fire in Elkhart

ELKHART, Ind. — One man was forced out of his home Thursday night after a fire caused significant damage to it.

Multiple fire crews responded to the fire on the 23900 block of Greenleaf Blvd. in Elkhart. 

The fire started around 10:30 Thursday night.

The homeowner and his two pets were the only ones in the home. All were able to escape safely. 

Osolo Township Fire Department Chief Jo Johnston says it was a challenge for crews because the house had a long and narrow driveway, so they could only put one truck close to the home.

“We’ve got plenty out here on the streets to back them up if we needed to, but in a situation like this, if you were to get more firefighter apparatus down that driveway all it would do is jam things up,” he said.

Johnston said they were able to utilize a fire hydrant right outside the driveway and run a hose up to the house, allowing them to attack the fire from four different angles. 

The fire was completely out within an hour. 

Johnston said it was a space heater that started the fire. The heater was on next to the homeowner as he slept. He reminds people to be safe when using space heaters, especially if the heater is several years old. 

"A lot of times they'll collect dust in them or the cords get frayed, or the operational pieces on the heater cease to work.," said Johnston. "So I would always recommend to make sure you take a look at it before you plug it in and decide to use it. If it smells funny don't use it. But the best thing is to buy one new at the beginning of the year."

The American Red Cross helped the homeowner, who was unable to stay in his home Thursday night. 

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