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Area resident loses house to fire

Volunteer firefighters are pictured at the scene of a blaze that completely destroyed the home of Spiceland resident Sam Charles on Sunday afternoon.

By KEVIN GREEN - kgreen@thecouriertimes.com

SPICELAND — A local man lost his home and everything in it Sunday despite the best efforts of multiple fire departments.

According to Spiceland Township Volunteer Fire Department Chief Scott Teague, his department was contacted shortly after noon Sunday regarding a fire at the home of Sam Charles, 215½ E. Broad St.

Teague said Charles lived in the home by himself and was not there when the fire broke out, but had two adult cats and an unknown number of kittens. It appears one of the cats may have escaped the blaze, Teague said, but the other felines did not and perished in the fire.

When firefighters arrived, the structure was already well on its way to being fully engulfed and assistance was requested. 

Before the fire was doused, Spiceland firefighters were assisted by volunteers from Dunreith, Lewisville and Straughn. Medics from New Castle also responded in the event someone was injured.

Teague said there were a total of “five or six” fire trucks on the scene and that those involved spent nearly three hours fighting the fire.

At this time, a cause for the blaze has not been determined.

Teague said Charles’ insurance carrier is handling the investigation into the fire’s origin. The Spiceland chief also said he did not believe the state fire marshal’s office is involved in that investigation.

Charles’ sister, Cindy Brooks, has started a GoFundMe page to help raise money needed to replace her brother’s material possessions.

On that page (www.gofundme.com/help-sam-rebuild) she writes: “My brother Sam Charles lost everything in a house fire this morning, March 11th in Spiceland, In. His beloved cats were also lost in this fire. His entire life was within those four walls. All his children’s pictures, school drawings, letters and cards. His paintings and drawings that he has done over the years and many more items that he cherished. Those cannot be replaced.

“We are sorry to say he did not have content insurance to cover the cost of the items that could be replaced. If you could find it in your heart to help him during this time it would be greatly appreciated. All money raised will go to help him find a new place to live and furnish his new home. Thank you very much.”

The goal listed on the GoFundMe page is $5,000. As of Monday midday, it showed $370 in donations made.