The Bloomingtonian

Fire damages five homes on Bloomington’s Southside Monday afternoon

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September 21, 2020; Bloomington, Indiana: Firefighters continue to work at the scene of a fire that damaged five houses in the 3500 block of South Wickens Street on Bloomington’s Southside Monday afternoon. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
September 21, 2020; Bloomington, Indiana: Firefighters continue to work at the scene of a fire that damaged five houses in the 3500 block of South Wickens Street on Bloomington’s Southside Monday afternoon. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
September 21, 2020; Bloomington, Indiana: Joelle Skender holds her daughter Jinny Skender after their home was destroyed by a fire. Firefighters continue to work at the scene of a fire that damaged five houses in the 3500 block of South Wickens Street on Bloomington’s Southside Monday afternoon. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

A fire Monday afternoon damaged five houses on Bloomington’s Southside. There were no injuries.

Flames from a house fire quickly spread to four more houses in the 3400 block of South Wickens Street in Bloomington around 1:04 p.m.

As firefighters arrived they discovered one house fully engulfed in flames and two other houses on fire. The fire would damage two more houses. One house’s siding was melted on the upper story showing the interior of the home.

Joelle Skender sat on a nearby porch holding the American flag that was rescued from the front of her burned home and comforted her children. She told the children their house was broken.

Skender said she heard a boom that sounded like it came from two houses down, and when she went out to investigate, someone yelled that there was a fire, and Skander left her home with her children. The children were being homeschooled. The entire top floor of the home was damaged along with most of the ground floor.

Multiple calls were made from witnesses who saw the houses on fire, and three were on fire when firefighters arrived. The fire spread easily from one house to the next due to the houses being close together according to Monroe Fire Protection District Public Information Officer Jason Allen.

Firefighters from the Monroe Fire Protection District, Van Buren Fire Department, and the Bloomington Fire Department responded to the fire. The Bloomington Fire Department sent Engine 5, Truck 1, and Ladder 1 to assist.

Firefighters were still putting water, and then later, foam on the smoldering homes several hours later.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

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