UPDATE: Plain Township/Leesburg Fire Department Fire Chief Michael Wilson, has released information on the Saturday night house fire at 78 EMS C29A Lane, Warsaw:
A family pet perished in the fire and one firefighter was injured and treated by Multi-Township Emergency Medical Services at the scene for minor injuries.
The Kosciusko County Fire Investigation Team, along with fire officers at Plain Township/Leesburg Fire Department currently suspect the fire started in a service area of the basement. The investigation as to the exact cause of the fire is still currently on-going, but a gas leak could have sparked it.
Kosciusko County Central Dispatch received multiple 911 calls beginning at 7:58 p.m. of smoke and heavy flames coming from 78 EMS C29A Lane, Warsaw. Firefighters responded and found heavy fire involvement to the basement area of the home with fire extending to the second-story area. Firefighters advanced in an attempt to stop fire-spread to the main floor of the residence.
Additional fire engine and tanker assist was requested from Warsaw/Wayne Fire Territory with additional tanker assistance requested from both Milford and Winona Lake Fire Departments.
Wilson reports it was initially determined that a natural gas line within the structure had severed and was fueling the fire. This hindered firefighters from containing the rapidly growing fire. NIPSCO called an excavation crew to the scene to temporary disable the gas line connected to the residence.
Smoke could be seen from as far away as Leesburg and flames shot several hundred feet into the air, visible from Armstrong Road.
From evidence at the scene, the occupants of the home were not present when the fire broke out.
Numerous popping sounds could be heard coming from the burning structure, believed to be ammunition stored in the home.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to assist with crowd control as neighbors were reportedly gathering in the area and attempting to help see if the occupants were at the residence.
Occupants at 66 EMS C29A Lane were evacuated and hurriedly grabbed a few belongings as embers, heat and smoke threatened their home.
According to the county website, the two-story wood structured home is owned by Daniel Jay King and Carol Canal. The home was built in 1986 and is approximately 2,832 square feet.