Authorities on the scene of a fire on Chapman Lake Drive in Warsaw have now confirmed that a body was recovered in the debris.
Over 40 firefighters from Leesburg, Warsaw, North Webster and Pierceton fire departments were on the scene of a residential fire at 2141 Chapman Lake Dr. for several hours after getting the initial call just before 10:30 a.m. One home was fully engulfed in flames. A second home was also involved.
Witnesses at the scene say they heard several explosions and that at least one person did not make it out of the blaze. Just before noon Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Chad Hill initially said, “There is potentially an individual inside the collapsed residence. There is a search investigation going on.”
At this time, we are told a body has been located in the residence at 2147 Chapman Lake Dr. where the fire started. That residence, according to county records, is owned by Stephen Hall. Hill said the home collapsed in the fire, which spread to 2141 Chapman Lake Dr., a home owned by Anthony and Kristine Rastrelli.
KCSD detectives said the initial residence of the fire had one occupant, as well as two individuals that rented another portion of the dwelling. The individuals who rented a portion of the home escaped without injury and fled to a neighboring residence to call 9-1-1. Everyone in the home at 2141 Chapman Lake Dr. also escaped without injury.
The Kosciusko County Coroner’s office located the remains of a body in the rubble after 2 p.m. today. The body is being taken to the North East Indiana Forensic Center, St. Joe Hospital, Fort Wayne, for positive identification.
Currently, the fire source and cause are under investigation by the Leesburg/Plain Township Fire Department with assistance being provided by Warsaw/Wayne Township Fire Territory and Squad 70, the county’s fire investigation team.
Hill said it is possible the fire started in the basement of the home at 2147 Chapman Lake Dr.
The Red Cross of Kosciusko County is providing assistance to both families and is also providing a Canteen of food and drink to emergency responders on the scene. Hill says seven people lived in the two residences.