The last fire trucks were just about to leave when Lynn Page, and her son Gavin Page, returned to the ruins of their home which had caught fire on the 4th of July, and burned through the night.
Levi Lindeman, 11, who lives nearby had first saw the smoke coming from the attic before 11:30 p.m., and told his father Todd Lindeman. They banged on the door because the Page household was asleep, and then went inside while waking up their neighbors in the 5100 block of E. Earl Young Road in Bloomington.
Gavin Page said there was smoke coming from the attic, but by the time he got an extinguisher, it was too late to go back in, and if he had, he would have died. The entrance to the attic on the left of the house, and requires crawling through, to where the fire began on the right side of the house.
Lynn Page said she didn’t expect the fire fighters to be able to put out the fire without a nearby fire extinguisher, and the possibility of her home burning as a result of living outside of the city was always a thought. Page isn’t sure if she’ll rebuild.
“It’s so sad, we lived here 25 years,” said Page.
The fire already compounded what has been a tough year for Lynn Page, and her son Gavin Page, after she lost her husband, Gavin’s father, and then COVID shut down the country. Gavin was staying with his mother to help since the loss of his father in November.
Lynn said her grandmother’s paintings had been in the house. Gavin said he’d managed to save a few things, including his computer, but might have tried to save more things if he’d realized how bad the fire would get.
The firefighters put yellow tape around the house, and the fire is being investigated. The cause of the fire is not known at this time.
Lindeman said that from the time he discovered the smoke, and the firefighters arrived minutes later, flames were already shooting through the roof.
“Benton Township Fire Chief arrived on scene and reported heavy smoke coming from the attic area of the home. When NMFT (Northern Monroe Fire Territory) units arrived firefighters pulled a hose line and made an attempt to locate the fire in the attic. Firefighters noticed a moderate amount of smoke in the second floor of the home and attempted to extinguish the fire through the attic access hole. Firefighters on the outside of the home reported to the firefighters inside that heavy fire had broken through the roof and was advancing quickly in size. Fire was also reported to be burning above the front door across the porch roof which would’ve blocked the exit path for the firefighters inside,” according to a press release.
“Due to the quickly deteriorating conditions of the house and the advancement of the fire, firefighters that were inside the home exited the building and switched to a defensive fire attack. After a few minutes of the firefighters evacuating the home the roof began to collapse on the house. The fire was upgraded to a 3rd alarm to get more water and manpower available on the scene. Firefighters from Monroe Fire Protection District, Van Buren Township Fire Department and Ellettsville Fire Department responded with extra water tenders and personnel. Firefighters spent all night and into the morning hours trying to extinguish the fire.”
The press release also noted the IU Health Ambulance Service crew of Medic 206 helped “keeping all the firefighters hydrated and safe medically.”