A St. Joseph County couple escaped a large house fire unharmed, thanks to an alert passerby.
The blaze broke out just before 3:30 a.m. on Saturday in the 55200 block of Lexington Ave. just northwest of South Bend.
The homeowners were asleep when the fire started, but someone driving by the house just happened to notice the flames and stopped to honk their horn and alert the owners. It was a neighbor who heard the honking and ran over to knock on the couple’s door.
All of the commotion finally woke the couple up, and they both got out safely along with their cat.
The investigation continues into what sparked the fire – which firefighters believe started outside the home.
“When we got here, we had flames coming out of the soffet out of the house,” said Terry Korpal, chief of the Southwest Central Fire Territory. “Looked like it was an exterior fire. Burned up the wall, got into the attic. We just sent guys in and then knocked it down very quickly.”
The fire completely destroyed the kitchen, while the rest of the home suffered extensive smoke and heat damage.