FORT WAYNE – Sandy Palmersheim had no idea a fire was raging early Saturday just a few feet away at her neighbor’s home and melting the siding of her own house until someone across the street called her.
With the flames soaring high, the concerned neighbor told Palmersheim to get out.
I grabbed my robe, shoes, purse, and I was out the door, she said Saturday afternoon.
By Saturday evening, the firetrucks were gone and the flames were out at 9610 Sea View Cove, but the stench of stale smoke, melted plastic and charred lumber still wafted through the subdivision.
When city firefighters arrived at the northeast Fort Wayne home just before 1:30 a.m., the flames were already through the roof of the garage and were quickly destroying the rest of the house.
There was a large amount of fire, Jim Murua, assistant chief and fire marshal for the city, said.
With so much fire already consuming the two-story home, firefighters first set up in defensive positions and knocked down as many flames as they could before they switched to an offensive approach, a statement from the department said.
Palmersheim said a neighbor told her three booms came from the home in the fire’s early stages, but Murua said it was too early to release a possible cause.
He said investigators were at the home Saturday. Firefighters remained at the home several hours after they first arrived.
Palmersheim said a man and his adult son live in the home.
Though she and her husband, Jack, don’t know the two residents of the damaged home very well, she said they know all too well the challenges that lay ahead for their neighbors.
The Palmersheims lost a home on Lake James several years ago when five homes burned.
It’s a devastating thing to lose your collections, your heirlooms and family memorabilia, Palmersheim said.
The fire department said no one was home at the time of the fire.
One firefighter was treated at the scene for a cut, but no other injuries were reported.
Thanks to the efforts of the fire department, the only damage the Palmersheims’ home suffered was melted siding.
At the home where the fire occurred, though, flames burned through the roof of the garage and much of the southwest side of the home.
The rest of the home was heavily charred and suffered extensive fire, smoke and water damage, the fire department said.