For The Record: 7/1


JASPER — The Jasper Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire concentrated at the rear of a vacant house at 1308 Newton St. at 4:34 this morning.

Fire Chief Kenny Hochgesang said neighbors awoke to the sound of popping and cracking at the rear of the house and called authorities. When the department arrived, a neighbor to the north was using a garden hose to hold down the flames.

The fire appeared to have started in the vicinity of a sofa on the back stoop, Hochgesang said. The sofa was consumed by fire by the time the department arrived and flames were touching the second story’s eaves.

Firefighters kept the fire from spreading to the inner structure but the back of the house, including an exterior stairway leading to the second story, was burned. The structure’s interior sustained smoke and water damage.

The cause is under joint investigation by the fire department and the Jasper Police Department.
The house is scheduled for a sheriff’s sale at the end of this month. Hochgesang had yet to research the financial institution that retains ownership.

The chief indicated a rough estimate for the damage was $10,000.

Four trucks and 28 firefighters were on the scene for an hour.

The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department, Jasper police and Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services assisted.

The response to the fire closed Newton Street to traffic between Ninth and 13th streets for about an hour.


IRELAND — Units of the Ireland Volunteer Fire Department responded to the report of a vehicle fire along a county road northwest of Ireland at 9:51 p.m. Saturday.

Fire Chief Stan Seifert said Matt Byers, of 663 W. Haysville Road, Haysville, was driving his 1997 GMC Yukon northbound in the 6000 block of County Road 750W when he smelled wire burning.

Seifert said Byers pulled over and checked under the SUV’s hood but saw nothing amiss. When he returned to the passenger compartment, smoke was coming from under the dash near the GMC’s steering column.

Byers had to jog to a nearby hill to gain cellphone coverage to call authorities, Seifert said. By the time the department arrived, the Yukon was engulfed in flames.

There were no injuries.

Seifert said the fire was electrical in nature.

Two trucks and 11 firefighters were on the scene 70 minutes.

A Uebelhor & Sons wrecker assisted.


ST. MARKS — A report of smoke coming from a steel trash bin at WoodMaster Inc., 5170 S. Third St., sent the St. Anthony Volunteer Fire Department into action at 9:22 a.m. Sunday.

Fire Chief Scott Uebelhor said the contents were starting to burn when the department arrived.

Firefighters doused the majority of the fire and pulled the bin away from the plant and a nearby semi-trailer.

There was no damage because only the discarded items in the bin burned, according to the chief.

Spontaneous combustion related to finish materials, possibly on rags, was a possible source of the ignition, according to Uebelhor. An official cause was not determined.

Five trucks and 18 firefighters were on the scene 30 minutes.


CELESTINE — A rough patch in the 3800 block of State Road 164 contributed to a single-vehicle crash Sunday evening west of Celestine.

Kyle P. Nichter, 33, of 910 W. 41st St., Jasper, was westbound on the highway in a 1990 Jeep Wrangler when the 6:50 p.m. accident occurred near County Road 400E, according to the county sheriff’s department.

A deputy said Nichter lost control of the Jeep when he encountered a rough patch in the highway near a curve. The Jeep skidded off the north side of the road, went down an embankment and struck a fence and post owned by Hostetter Farms, 3880 E. State Road 164.

Total damage to the Jeep and fencing was estimated in excess of $10,000, according to authorities.

The Jeep was able to be driven from the scene.


HUNTINGBURG — The Huntingburg Police Department arrested 25-year-old Norma M. Gutierrez, of 111 W. Fourth St., at 1:57 p.m. Saturday and charged her with drunken driving (blood alcohol content .19 percent).

Gutierrez was arrested near her residence where police said she was driving a Toyota passenger car. An officer responding to a 911 call where screaming was heard on the phone line saw Gutierrez behind the wheel of her Toyota, which was in the middle of the street. Gutierrez pulled up beside the officer’s patrol car as her mother came from the Fourth Street residence and informed the officer that her daughter was intoxicated, according to police.

Authorities booked Gutierrez into the Dubois County Security Center at 5:10 p.m.

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