UPDATE: Laundry-room fire destroys Elkhart home

It took four fire departments several hours to put out a blaze that destroyed an Elkhart County home.

Investigators tell NewsCenter 16 that the fire it started in the laundry room.

Around 6:57 p.m. Sunday, 911 dispatchers received multiple calls of smoke and flames pouring from the roof of a home in the 30800 block of Oaksprings Dr.

The ranch-style structure is part of the Glen Haven Estates subdivision, near the intersection of Douglas Rd. and W. County Line Rd.

Firefighters say one resident ran inside the home to try and save pets, but wasn't injured.

When they got to the scene, firefighters say the fire was quickly growing.

"We had flames shooting through the garage and the house, shooting probably about ten feet in the air," said Cleveland Township Assistant Fire Chief Jim Prentkowski.

Baugo Township, Osolo Township and Clay Fire Territory assisted Cleveland Township in battling the blaze.

Because there are no fire hydrants in the neighborhood, there were issues with getting water to the scene.

Firefighters focused on battling the blaze defensively; it was too dangerous to send them inside the home.

"We've had fire in the crawl space, we've had fire in the roof area, we've had fire in the garage with a vehicle, so it's definitely been a challenge," Prentkowski said.

Several neighbors watched for hours as smoke and flames poured out of the home.

Some of them report hearing what sounded like an explosion shortly after firefighters arrived.

"When the fire department was out here, when they were cutting the door off, we heard some bangs coming from the garage," said Timothy Donahue, who lives next door.

But, firefighters say the noise was the sound of a car's tires exploding inside the garage.

The home is destroyed, but none of its residents were injured.

Investigators expect to learn more about what caused the fire later this week.


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