A Whiteland woman woke up early Saturday morning to a man pounding on her door asking her to call 911.
She opened the door about 4 a.m. to see her neighbor, covered in soot, telling her that his house was on fire.
As Jana Risinger called 911, her first concern was for the family and their two young daughters. She later learned they had gotten out of the house through a window. The home in the 300 block of Ardmoor Drive, which is on the north side of town and west of U.S. 31, was destroyed.
Aaron and Elizabeth Wright and their daughters lived in the home, according to Risinger and a fundraising website that’s been organized to help them.
All four residents had escaped through a window, but were taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, WISH-TV Channel 8 and the family’s website said.
The few minutes before firefighters arrived felt like an eternity, as the family and neighbors watched the fire engulf the house and the flames melt the tires of vehicles parked in the driveway, Risinger said.
“The situation is just really sad, especially right before Christmas,” she said.
The single-story home was destroyed by the fire. Three vehicles that had been left in a driveway just feet from the house also were damaged or destroyed. The Whiteland Police Department said said the family was OK and the fire was under investigation. Whiteland Fire Department officials could not be reached.
Firefighters had the blaze out in about 20 minutes, WISH-TV reported.
The family has set up a page on the fundraising site GoFundMe — gofundme.com/p5jga-the-wright-family — where people can donate to help them as they recover from the fire.
While the family has renter’s insurance, that won’t cover cost of everything that needs to be replaced, including Christmas presents that were purchased just the day before on Black Friday, the GoFundMe page said.
Vicky Hall, who lives in a home adjacent to the Wright house, said she was told to get out of her house as a precaution. The fire in her neighbor’s home damaged some of her house’s siding as well, she said.