Overnight fire destroys two-story Cuzco farmhouse

Photos by Dubois Firefighter Vic Danford


CUZCO — An overnight fire destroyed a two-story frame farmhouse in Cuzco.

The Dubois Volunteer Fire Department was initially alerted to the report of an explosion in the Cuzco area at 11:52 p.m., according for department Public Information Officer Zach Eichmiller. That call was followed by a second reporting additional explosions.

Firefighters arrived at the Jack and Verna Davenport home at 6435 N. Cuzco Road North to find that the Davenports had safely exited the house, which was fully involved in flames from the ground up.

The Davenports told firefighters they did not know how the fire originated but they said it started near the back porch of the home, which property records indicated was built in 1899.

“He (Jack Davenport) said he got up to use the bathroom and he found it then,” Eichmiller said.

The flames were already extensive at the back door, Eichmiller added, and Mr. Davenport made one unsuccessful attempt at extinguishing them.

Tanker assistance was summoned from the Haysville and Celestine volunteer fire departments.

Efforts to protect a large fifth-wheel camper that was about 20 feet from the house were unsuccessful. Two pet dogs in the house were also lost.

“He said the two dogs were worth more than the house,” Eichmiller said.

Davenport told firefighters the couple did not have insurance on the home. Davenport also could not immediately confirm if the camper was insured, according to Eichmiller.

Eichmiller said the Davenports spent Monday night at a neighbor’s house and Jack Davenport also said the couple would have a place to stay long term, as well.

The couple was in contact with the American Red Cross and was going to receive assistance, Eichmiller said.

The cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time.

Dubois’ department responded with three trucks and 25 firefighters. Celestine sent a tanker and six firefighters, while Haysville contributed the services of its tanker and eight firefighters.

Units were on the scene overnight for just in excess of two hours.

Then, at 5:26 a.m. today, Dubois firefighters were called back to the scene for a reported rekindle.

Dubois’ fire department was also assisted Monday night by the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department, Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative, Dubois County Central Dispatch and Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services, which had an ambulance on standby.

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