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Fire Destroys Home Of Dubois Couple

Last updated on Friday, March 15, 2013

(DUBOIS) - A home in northeast Dubois County was destroyed in a fire last night according to the Dubois Volunteer Fire Department.

Firefighters were dispatched to the residence located at 8074 N. Hillham Road South at 8:13 p.m. When they arrived they found the two story log home fully involved in flames.

According to the residents, EugeneVarner and his wife, Francine, they were eating supper when they saw smoke coming from the living room of the home. Varner attempted to run up the stairs of the home to retrieve a fire extinguisher, but heavy smoke had already filled the upstairs area. Rather than be overcome by the smoke, the couple evacuated the home and contacted 9-1-1.

Varner told firefighters, he believed the fire started due to a wood stove in the living room. According to Varner, he thought a crack in the flue had ignited the wall around the chimney.

The home and all of its contents were destroyed in the blaze. The couple were lodged in a hotel in Jasper with assistance from the Red Cross.

The couple plans on living in a vacant cabin on the property until other arrangements are made. Their two vehicles and an outbuilding were spared in the fire, however the couple did not have homeowner's insurance.

According to a press release, donations of clothing and other items can be dropped off at the Melton Public Library in French Lick where Francine Varner works. The library is open Monday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are closed on Sunday and Wednesday.

The following items are needed; women's medium shirts, large pants, and size 8 shoes for Francine, and men's medium shirts, 33 x 31 pants, and size 9 ½ shoes for Eugene.
Dubois Volunteer Fire Department responded with three trucks and 32 firefighters. In addition, a tanker from Orange County Rural District 1 with three fire fighters and the Haysville Fire Department with one truck and eight fire fighters responded to a call for assistance at the scene.

Dubois County EMS and Dubois REC also assisted on scene.

Firefighters were at the residence for about three and a half hours.

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