(SPRINGVILLE) - A house fire in the 6800 block of Ind. 54 kept firefighters from three volunteer departments busy.
"It was an extremely hot blaze and was fully-involved when we arrived," says Perry Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Max Peters. "The roof was caving in when we arrived."
Peters, who lives five miles from the home, said he saw bellowing smoke and the flames from his yard.
The homeowners names are not being released by fire department officials, because the fire is of suspicious nature and the state fire marshals office is investigating, Peters says.
Four people were home when the fire started. A motorist passing by stopped, pulled into the driveway and honked the horn to alert the owners their homes was engulfed in flames.
"The home was destroyed and the family lost several dogs in the blaze," Peters said.
Peters says that he's not sure how the homeowners didn't know the house was on fire. "This was a huge fire and a difficult one to fight. I don't know what we would have done without Oolitic and Marshall's quick response. Tops also assisted with keeping us hydrated and assisting with anything we needed. This was not an easy fire to fight."
Traffic was backed up on Ind. 54/58 for several hours.
The older home was built with native timber that burns long and hot, according to Peters. The fire was so hot that three main phone lines were burnt and three fiber optic Comcast lines were destroyed.
"Phone, Internet and cable were out from Brownstown to Terre Haute," Peters said. "Comcast spent around 16 hours repairing the lines. There were a lot of problems. Comcast phone service was returned Saturday."
AT&T customers are reporting they are still without service.
Firefighters returned to the scene three times after the blaze rekindled.
"The home had a concrete basement and all the debris fell in there," Peters says. "We would be able to soak the above floor, but it would rekindle under that and start the blaze again."
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