Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

February 3, 2014

House fire's cause being investigated

Debbie Blank
The Batesville Herald-Tribune

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A passerby noticed smoke pouring from a vacant home's roof at 25141 State Road 46 west of Batesville Monday, Feb. 3, and alerted authorities at 2:02 p.m., said Batesville Fire & Rescue Department Chief Todd Schutte.

"Firemen were there within a couple of minutes," he reported. When they arrived at the two-story white frame house owned by Carl Thielking and his sister, Mary Lou, "heavy smoke was coming out of the eaves of the house. We laid a hose for the hydrant up to the house and got in there and started knocking the fire down" after quickly searching the structure to make sure nobody was inside.

When the 18 or so firefighters from Batesville, New Point and Morris departments approached the source of the blaze on the second floor, "it was rocking and rolling in there ... They had fire rolling over the top of them," the chief said.

To find out its exact location and extent, stored items that were on fire there were tossed out of the building, then hosed down on the ground.

Nobody was injured, according to the chief. While there isn't a damage estimate yet, the home is inhabitable. "There's extensive water damage," Schutte noted. An investigation continues to determine the blaze's cause.