Investigators: House fire caused by space heaters

Local News

Fire damaged a Fort Wayne home early Wednesday morning during the first several hours of extreme cold temperatures. 

The people living at 4438 Winter Street on the city’s south side called 911 and reported sparks and flames coming from an electrical box on the side of the home.

Fire crews responded shortly after 1 a.m. and found smoke coming from the home. 

Fire officials said the fire spread to part of the home’s attic, but they were able to get it under control quickly. 

A person who uses a wheelchair was not able to get out by themself. Firefighters immediately went in and rescued the resident when they arrived. 

Nobody was hurt. Family members of the victim came to the home to take them to a warm, safe place.

Investigators said the fire was related to the extreme cold temperatures. There were multiple space heaters plugged in inside the home, which likely overloaded the electrical system and caused the fire. 

Indiana Michigan Power crews were dispatched to the scene to evaluate the situation. One worker said they might have to shut power off at the home where the fire occured, but surrounding houses shouldn’t be affected.

Emergency dispatchers warned that the 4400 block of Winter Street was covered in a sheet of ice, partly because of water from fire trucks freezing to the street surface. City street crews were planning to respond to put sand down, because salt would be ineffective in the extremely cold temperatures.

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