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Several Pets Killed In House Fire Perhaps Sparked By Space Heaters

Posted On January 05, 2018

By Mike Perleberg

Photo provided by Jeff-Craig Fire Department.

(Vevay, Ind.) – Space heaters may have caused a Thursday evening fire which destroyed a Switzerland County family’s home.

The occupants of the home on State Road 56 west of Vevay told firefighters they were using multiple space heaters in order to thaw frozen water pipes, says Jeff-Craig Fire Department Chief Chris See. They left home for about an hour to get dinner and returned to find their house on fire.

Firefighters received the call at about 6:30 p.m. When the Jeff-Craig Fire Department and Switzerland County Emergency Rescue arrived, the home was fully engulfed.

“The frigid temperatures make firefighting extremely challenging. Since water is our primary resource the ground, trucks, pumps, tools, and firefighters usually become ice covered in a short time. Last night our crews did an amazing job of meeting the challenges of freezing temperatures,” said See, adding that firefighters were on the scene in frigid cold for about two hours.

Although the residents were not home at the time, several pets were in the building. They died in the blaze, See said.

The home was a total loss. Investigators may be unable to determine the cause of the fire, the chief said.

The family is being assisted by the Jefferson County Red Cross. Friends of the family have taken to Facebook to ask for clothing donations.

This fire is just the latest illustration of the need to exercise caution when utilizing space heaters to warm a home.

“During these long periods of cold weather houses are at an increased risk of catching fire, primary and alternate heating sources usually being the culprit. We encourage everyone to take a minute and check their homes and outbuildings for potential fire hazards,” See said.

Other fire departments there included Moorefield, Brooksburg, and Rykers Ridge. Switzerland County Highway Department and Southeastern Indiana REMC also had personnel assisting at the fire scene.