Home Collapses in Yankeetown House Fire, Knocks Firefighters Downhill

A house fire forced half a Yankeetown Road home and three firefighters down a hill Sunday afternoon after an unexpected collapse.

And even as the rubble settles, smoke is still smoldering at the scene Monday.

Yankeetown Fire Department got the call Sunday afternoon around 4 pm when a woman woke up to find her kitchen on fire.

Boonville, Newburgh, Luce, Chandler, and Ohio Township Fire Departments were called shortly after, when they realized this fire was different from the others.

Ryan Rizen, Captain of the Ohio Township Fire Department said, "entry into the house was impossible, early on into the fire the less debris or furniture, that's going to be in the way, that's going to restrict any firefighter movement inside the house."

Personal belongings spilling out of hallways, leaving only a small path into the home engulfed in flames.

Yankeetown Fire Department tore down part of the home with a back hoe they borrowed from a neighbor, something that they say is rare.

But over four hours on the scene proved to not be enough.

Michael Gerdom, the neighbor who called 911 said, "right before bed we walked outside, I walked outside on the porch to let the dog out, and that's when I saw the flames above the roof, so I walked back and got my wife up so we could check it out, and when we saw it was on fire again we called 911."

Yankeetown Fire Department was called out again around 1 am Monday morning.

Gerdom said, "three fire trucks and then two trucks that were volunteer firefighters, they showed up within 5 minutes, we were pretty surprised."

An Ohio Township firefighter helmet camera offers a different perspective on the different kind of fire.

Rizen said, "it picks up a lot of things with the smoke and the fire and all the flames and everything, you can't always see whats going on around you."

With smoke still rising and many questions left unsolved.

Rizen said,"yesterday's collapse was kind of unusual, we don't know what caused the immediate collapse in the rear."

Yankeetown Fire Department says the cause of the fire is still unknown, and the damage to the house may leave it that way.

Except for one firefighter being treated for smoke inhalation, no one was hurt in the fire.

Crews from the Yankeetown Fire Department say they plan to keep an eye on the property to make sure the fire doesn't start back up again.

Red Cross is offering support to the family who lived in the home.


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