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Fire Destroys Springville Home

Last updated on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

(SPRINGVILLE) - A raging fire consumed a Springville home Tuesday afternoon.

The home owned by Steve Earl on Steve Earl Road is valued at a quarter of a million dollars.

Perry Volunteer Fire Department Chief Max Peters says the fire was coming through the roof when firefighters arrived just after 12:47 p.m.

"There are some walls standing, and the flooring is still there," Peters says, "But the home was gutted. It's pretty much destroyed."

Peters says, the fire started while Earl was cooking and a pan of grease overheated.

It took a while for Perry, Shawswick and Indian Creek VFDs to respond, because Earl called 911 from his cell phone.

"The call went to Greene County so it took a while for them to figure out where the house was located," Peters says. "Springville has rural routes that are located in Greene and Monroe counties, so that sometimes makes it difficult to figure out where the homes are located, unlike when 911 calls come into Lawrence County and they have the equipment to know where the cell phone call originated from. Because of the time delay of getting dispatched, the house was a total loss before the first truck arrived."

Peters stresses the importance of telling 911 dispatchers exactly where you are located when calling for help.

"Its so important to tell the dispatchers where you are especially when calling from a cell phone," Peters says. "Cell phone 911 calls can end up anywhere and in emergencies time can make a difference in life or death or destruction of property."

Firefighters also faced the problem of getting fire engines to the home, because Steve Earl Road is very narrow and steep.

"There is one way in and we had to back the fire engines out," Peters says. "The road is so steep that it was difficult for the trucks to get up to the house."

Peters says then the field caught on fire and that complicated matters.

"The fire burned about a half an acre," Peters says. "We were concerned it would get into the woods and then we would have been in real trouble, but we were able to extinguish it before got there."

Several of the firefighters suffered from the heat, but TOPES and an IU Health Hospital ambulance crew was there to provide medical assistance and a place for firefighters to cool off.

"We were short handed," Peters says. "Most of my department was at the fairgrounds. We couldn't have done it without Shawswick and Indian Creek. They were a tremendous help."

The department was called back Monday night after the fire rekindled.

"It's a log home and will probably rekindle several times until there is nothing left," Peters says. "Log homes are beautiful, but they burn quick and there are gaps between the logs where the fire hides and it's hard to get to."

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