A Pierceton woman escaped her burning home Tuesday morning but today, authorities are calling the fire suspicious.
Five fire departments battled the blaze which was reported at about 8:40 a.m.
A joint investigation was conducted by Squad 70 Fire Investigation Team of Kosciusko County and the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office. Based on the information found at the scene, the fire is being suspicious and will remain under investigation by the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, Squad 70 and Kosciusko County Sherriff’s Department.
Pierceton Fire Department was first called to 7138 E. 500 S. Immediately, Sidney and Richland Township (Larwill) fire departments were also called for a full assist. Tankers from South Whitley and Chester Township departments were also used to help extinguish the blaze.
Pierceton Fire Chief Matt Brubaker told StaceyPageOnline.com that the home and contents, valued at about $60,000, was a total loss. Brubaker said the fire appeared to have started in the living room area of the home.
The home is owned by Michael and Chloe Neer. Chloe said she was home and sleeping at the time of the fire and awoke to the smell of smoke to discover thick, black smoke throughout the home. She said she was able to feel her way out and was treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation.
The Kosciusko County Chapter of the American Red Cross was called to establish a canteen of food and drinks for the approximately 30 firefighters. Kim Komdeur, development coordinator for the local Red Cross, says they are also assisting the couple, who were the sole occupants of the house, with medication assistance. The couple is not requesting shelter, food or clothing assistance.