By LOU MUMFORD
South Bend Tribune
6:00 PM EST, January 23, 2013
NILES — The fire call that went out this afternoon caught the attention of Niles Township Fire Chief Gary Brovold.
“It’s a weird feeling when you hear the address of your childhood structure go out over the scanner,’’ Brovold said as he commanded firefighters attempting to put out the blaze at 3009 S. Third St.
Despite the firefighters’ efforts, it appeared the two-story structure might be a total loss. The family escaped without injury but a cat was believed to have died.
Huddled in a blanket with her son, Kathryn Greer said she was “home sick’’ today and was sitting on a couch watching television when dogs playing nearby knocked a lighted candle into a “sock box.’’ The socks started to burn, she said, prompting her to douse the fire with water and put it out.
Or so she thought.
“I went downstairs to get a new (laundry) basket and by the time I got back upstairs, it had reignited,’’ she said.
By then, the fire had spread to the family room, she said. The family was able to escape, as did the dogs, but the cat wasn’t as fortunate.
Greer’s husband, Ken, said he was at work when the fire started. The family has insurance to help cover the loss, he said.
The hope was that at least a portion of the structure might be saved but Kathryn didn’t sound hopeful that would be the case.
“It’s gone,’’ she said.
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