Investigators are using photos and what they saw in and around a Whiteland house to determine what caused the blaze that destroyed the home.
One piece of information investigators are determining is what path the fire took through the house, which will be key to understanding what caused the home in the 300 block of Ardmoor Drive to become engulfed in flames early Saturday morning, Whiteland Fire Department Chief Eric Funkhouser said.
No causes have been ruled out, and the investigation could take weeks, Funkhouser said. Fire officials have heard rumors and speculation about the cause of the fire on social media, but said none of those have been proven.
When firefighters arrived at the home Saturday morning, the family of four had already escaped through a bedroom window. The alarm from a smoke detector is what woke up the residents and alerted them to the fire, which likely saved their lives, Funkhouser said.
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“I can’t stress enough how important it is for families to make sure to check that their smoke detectors are working,” he said.
The family was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and have all been released and have gotten a temporary place to stay, Funkhouser said. The family’s dog was killed in the fire, he said.
The fire department is working to get the family connected with the American Red Cross and to get any other assistance they need, he said. The family has also 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.
Fire officials are waiting to talk with the insurance agency for a final determination, but the home likely will be a total loss due to the damage from the fire, Funkhouser said. Three vehicles parked in the driveway were damaged by the fire, with the one closest to the flames being destroyed.
“There was a lot of fire when we pulled up,” he said. “We got it knocked down in 20 to 30 minutes.”
The Whiteland, New Whiteland, Greenwood and Bargersville fire departments all responded to the fire, Funkhouser said.