By Zach Osowski
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
A vacant house near downtown was heavily damaged by fire Thursday afternoon.
Assistant Battalion Chief Jeff Kline said the firefighters arrived to find a heavy fire on the first floor of the two-story structure at the corner of Jackson and 13th streets. Kline said they were able to knock the flames down pretty quickly and got it under control. He said they believe the fire started upstairs.
Kline said the house had been abandoned for some time and there were no utilities connected to the house. The cause of the fire was unknown at time of publication but Kline said arson could be a possibility. Investigators were talking to witnesses.
Keith Endicott said he saw the smoke coming from the house and called 911.
“We busted in the door and yelled to see if anyone was inside,” Endicott said. “Then the fire crews got there.”
Although the house was abandoned, Endicott said homeless people would break in and live there from time to time.
Kline said he was aware there had been squatters in the house on occasion. Firefighters did a search once the fire was under control and said no one was found inside the building.
While several firefighters had their vital signs checked after being inside the building, Kline said there were no injuries to report.
While the outside of the house remained intact, the interior was deemed a total loss after crews finished. The assessed value of the property in 2012 was $62,500, according to the Madison County assessor records.
Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB, or call 640-4847.