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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Brush Fire Spreads to Home on Garrison Chapel Road Friday Afternoon

MONORE COUNTY - NOVEMBER 4, 2022 - Monroe County, Indiana, November 4, 2022 – MFD responded to a structure fire this afternoon that originated as a brush fire.

A brush fire spread into a home Friday afternoon on Garrison Chapel Road ( Courtsey photos to Lawrence County Zephyr)

Monroe Fire Protection District was dispatched to a structure fire in the 4400 block of S Garrison Chapel Rd this afternoon around 12:30pm. Notes from dispatch advised the fire had originated from a brush fire and had now caught the house on fire.

As the first engine crew arrived on scene, they reported a working structure fire with fire

spreading up the side of the house and advancing into the structure. Firefighters began pulling hose lines to extinguish the fire when a family member arrived and stated that two individuals were possibly still trapped inside the house.

Firefighters immediately entered the house and began to search for the two individuals. As they searched the house, they encountered extremely high temperatures and heavy fire advancement.

Additional firefighters started arriving on scene to help with the search and extinguishment of the fire. While firefighters were still searching the home, it was found that the two individuals thought to be inside by the family member had already safely evacuated the home and were outside.

Heavy fire and heat conditions along with various roof lines and void spaces made it difficult for firefighters to locate the fire. Firefighters cut holes in the roof to let out hot gases and smoke to aid the firefighters inside with seeing and locating the fire. Several holes were also cut into the thick siding and wood sheeting to gain access to void spaces firefighters could not reach from inside.

Firefighters were then able to stop the spread of the fire further and worked on

extinguishing hot spots and checking for any hidden fires.

While firefighters worked to extinguish the fire inside the house additional firefighters worked to contain the brush fire that was still burning out of control and spreading through the woods behind the house.

Firefighters used leaf blowers to create a fire line through the leaf covered woods containing it to approximately an acre and a half. Once the fire was contained all around firefighters then worked on soaking down logs and tree stumps that had burnt to limit the chance of hot embers blowing through the air causing more spot fires.

Monroe Fire Protection District

The fire originated from a brush pile approximately 150ft from the home. The pile was reported to be used a day or two before and was believed to be fully extinguished. However, when arriving to the home today additional leaves were put on the burn pile to be burnt later when the leaves suddenly ignited from the heat still inside the burn pile from the previous burn.

Once the leaves caught fire the strong gusty winds quickly blew hot embers into other areas of the yard that was covered in leaves. The extremely dry leaves and high winds allowed the fire to spread quickly to the house where it then climbed up the side of the home and burnt into the back room of the house.

The strong winds continued to fuel the fire with fresh oxygen as it entered the home making it burn faster and stronger and difficult for firefighters to extinguish.

Monroe Fire Protection District was assisted on the scene by Center-Jackson Fire Territory from Greene County, City of Bloomington Fire Department Engine 4, IU Health Lifeline Ambulance Service, and Duke Energy.

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