Basement fire temporarily displaces mother, son


HUNTINGBURG — An overnight fire in the basement of a Huntingburg home has temporarily displaced a mother and her adult son.

Units of the Huntingburg Volunteer Fire Department were called at 12:40 a.m. today to the Theresa Johnson home at 402 S. Washington St., according to Fire Chief Scott Patberg.

Johnson’s adult son was sleeping on a couch in the basement and awoke to discover that a chair in the basement was on fire.

“He wasn’t sure what woke him up but I’m going to have to go with a smoke alarm based on how loud they were when we got there,” Patberg said.

The son alerted his mother who was in an upstairs bedroom and the pair safely exited the home, according to the fire department.

“When we arrived there was heavy smoke coming out of the residence,” Patberg said.

The chief indicated the fire was probably started by discarded smoking materials.

The first firefighters on the scene achieved a quick knockdown of the flames, according to Patberg.

“They did a good job,” the chief said.

There was fire damage to the chair and drapes and heat damage that melted plastic wiring, blinds and a smoke alarm, according to the fire department. There was also smoke damage throughout the house.

Patberg said there was no structural damage and no injuries. If there had not been functional alarms, Patberg said, it could have been a different outcome.

“They’ll have to be out for a few days until they get it cleaned up,” Patberg said.

The occupants indicated they had somewhere to stay until the smoke damage was addressed, according to Patberg.

The chief said the homeowner thanked the fire department more than once at the scene.

“You hate seeing that this time of year — just a couple of weeks from Christmas here,” Patberg said. “But nobody is hurt.”

Three trucks and 18 firefighters were on the scene one hour and 26 minutes.

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