MISHAWAKA – At least 3 people were home early Sunday morning with the TV on when their house caught fire.
Battalion Chief Brian Kazmierzak of the Penn Township Fire Department tells WSBT the people didn’t even know their home was on fire. A neighbor saw the blaze and called 911.
It happened around 1:30 a.m in the 56600 block of Crescent Dr., just north of Vistula Road.
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Kazmierzak says firefighters from Mishawaka, Clay, Osceola and Cleveland were all called to help.
He says a build up in the chimney caused the fire.
According to Kazmierzak, firefighters saw heavy fire coming from the front of the home when they arrived. They went inside and attacked the blaze.
The wind gusts were mighty overnight, but amazingly, he says they didn’t hamper their efforts to douse the flames. He says the wind was coming in to the back of the home, which helped.
Kazmierzak says the homeowners were outside by the time firefighters arrived. Police had actually gotten there first and ushered the people out of their house.
He says the front half of the home was badly damaged and estimates overall damage at $75,000, $50,000 to the home itself and $25,000 to the contents, although it only took about 20 minutes to bring the blaze under control.
Crews were on the scene for about two hours.
Around 11:15 a.m., firefighters were called back to the same home when the homeowner went back in to find some things and smelled smoke. It turned out to be smoldering insulation and took a quick mop up job to make sure it didn't spread.
Penn Township and Mishawaka fire crews were called the second time. They cleared the scene around 12:30 p.m.
Kazmierzak says the early Sunday morning fire is a strong reminder for all of us who use fireplaces or wood burning stoves during the winter. He says it’s important to have your chimney inspected to limit the build up and the risk of fire.