A North Vernon family is mourning the loss of a loved one who perished in a house fire the night of Friday, January 7.
Just before midnight, officers from the North Vernon Police Department (NVPD) responded along with the North Vernon Fire Department (NVFD) to a structure fire in the 500 block of West Walnut Street in North Vernon.
NVPD Sgt. Andrew Richmond said the mobile home was actively in flames when officers arrived. Mobile homes are known for rapid fire spread because of the way they are constructed, according to NVFD Chief Mike Cole. The main entrance to the home was blocked by fire and heavy smoke. Three occupants were in the home when the fire started, and officers located two of the occupants who had been able to exit the residence.
The third occupant, an adult female, was spotted trying to exit a bedroom window, Sgt. Richmond continued. Heavy smoke was already exiting the same window. Rescue attempts were made, however the female was not able to be extracted from the window. A short time later officers lost sight of and contact with the female and she perished in the residence.
At this time the identity of the deceased is not being released. One male resident obtained minor injuries while escaping the burning home.
A defensive fire attack was initiated until the fire was knocked down to the point where firefighters could enter the structure safely. It took approximately one hour to extinguish the fire, however the home is no longer livable. No first responders were injured during the incident.
Chief Cole said this week that the fire was determined to be accidental and originated in the kitchen.
The North Vernon Police Department is asking for prayers for the family of the deceased and the first responders involved during this difficult time.
The North Vernon Fire Department was assisted by Scipio-Geneva Township, Spencer Township and Vernon Township fire departments, North Vernon Police Department, Jennings County Sheriff’s Department, Jennings County 911, North Vernon Water, North Vernon Street Department, Duke Energy, American Red Cross, Jennings County EMS, and the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office.