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Osceola home destroyed, fire started in doghouse

OSCEOLA, Ind. – A fire tore through a home on the 1000 block of Fairview Avenue in Eastern St. Joseph County Saturday night.


“A lot of flames, sirens, the road was blocked off," Mike Erhardt said he could see the fire from his front door. “It was pretty big and it looked like it was out of control already.”


Ernhardt said the fire started in the doghouse behind the garage of the home just before midnight. The family had put a heat lamp back there to keep their two dogs warm in the winter. Not the best idea, Ernhardt said, “But you live and you learn, I guess.”


The fire started in the doghouse and spread up through the garage and across most of the house. Luckily before the flames reached the bedrooms where the family was sleeping, a passerby ran into the home to alert the three people inside.


“Knocking on the door kicking on the door to let them know the garage was on fire,” Erhardt said the family and none of the other neighbors recognized the man and the hero’s identity is still not known.


By the time the fire department arrived the family had already gotten out of the home but with no fire hydrants close by water tankers were brought in. “They were having problems with the water,” Erhardt said, “They were running out of water.” Neighbors said one of the firefighters pressed the wrong button and all of the water dumped out onto the street.


“It’s terrible that they had such a loss like that,” Erhardt said the family had just returned home from a trip to Vietnam. When they got back the heat lamp in the dog house had burned a small portion behind the house, “The wood was charred and he put water on it but went in and went to bed it must have caught on fire.” Jet lagged the family went to sleep, the fire reignited but this time it spread.

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