Felled tree triggers Jasper duplex fire


Photo courtesy Jasper Volunteer Fire Department

JASPER — One of the many trees felled by the passage of a strong storm system Sunday night triggered a Jasper duplex fire that has temporarily displaced the couple living there.

The Jasper Volunteer Fire Department was called to 1491 W. Ackerman Road at 8:36 p.m. after a neighbor reported seeing arcing and smoke coming from the residence. Fire Chief Kenny Hochgesang said the duplex is owned by Dean Jerger and Steve and Carol Young occupied the quarters where a fire started in a south wall and attic area after a tree fell and pulled wires behind the residence.

The fire department used dry chemical extinguishers to knock down flames until a Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative crew arrived to cut power to the energized lines at a control box in a wooded area at the site.

The fire department used a Prizm tube light to illuminate the smoky scene for firefighters.

Hochgesang estimated the smoke and fire damage at $25,000.

The American Red Cross provided vouchers to put the Youngs up in a hotel, according to Hochgesang. He said the couple did have renter’s insurance.

Four trucks and 29 firefighters were on the scene for about 90 minutes.

Photo courtesy Jasper Volunteer Fire Department

The Jasper Police Department and Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services also assisted.

Reports by trained weather spotters put winds gusts Sunday night in the 60 mph range in the Ireland area and 50 to 60 mph in the Dubois area.

There were reports of Sunday night’s storm bringing down trees on Santine Road south of Celestine, Second Avenue east of Chestnut Street in Huntingburg, Hickory Grove Road north of the Dubois Crossroads, Schnellville Road, Shiloh Road and County Road 400W, Kellerville Road near County Road 300N and State Road 162 in the Maltersville Bridge area.

The Haysville Volunteer Fire Department also ventured into Martin County when assistance was requested with a tree down on Alfordsville Road and the Dubois Volunteer Fire Department was called to Second Street in Dubois when a power line was reported in contact with trees.

Dubois REC reported that crews responded to widespread outages in its service territory.

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