A fire resulted in significant damage to a Vine Street apartment Sunday night.
Greensburg Fire Chief Scott Chasteen told the Daily News the incident occurred at approximately 11:18 p.m. Sunday, at 220 South Vine Street, apartment 3.
A neighbor awoke to the smell of smoke in the building, Chasteen said. The neighbor searched his own residence for evidence of a fire, found none, then noticed darkened windows in apartment 3. The neighbor felt the door of the apartment, which was hot, prompting him to call 911.
The neighbor was not certain as to whether or not the occupant of apartment 3, Hunter Cubel, was home at the time of the fire.
Greensburg Fire Department personnel arrived moments after the call and entered the residence in an effort to rescue possible occupants. The fire was extinguished soon after. Cubel was discovered to be away at work at the time of the fire.
Chief Chasteen said investigators discovered a space heater plugged into an extension cord which they believe caused the fire. Chasteen said the heater and “several other items” plugged into the extension cord caused the cord to heat up, leading to a chair in the living room catching fire. The blaze then spread to other furniture in the home, but fire responders were able to keep it localized, preventing further damage to the structure.
The home is presently uninhabitable and many of Cubel’s personal belongings were destroyed or suffered smoke damage. The American Red Cross is assisting the victim with clothing and food. Chasteen said Cubel will stay with a family member.
The other three apartments in the building suffered no damage and their tenants remain there, the fire chief said. Fire responders estimated $5,000 worth of damage to items belonging to Cubel and about $15,000 worth of damage to the structure as a whole.
Chasteen said the efforts of the Greensburg Police Department dispatchers were exemplary Sunday night.
“They did a great job in getting us the information, including the possibility there was a victim (in the fire),” the chief said Monday.
Chasteen also urged caution when using space heaters.
“Any time you’re going to use a space heater, make sure the circuit is big enough to handle it,” he said. “Don’t use extension cords.”
The Greensburg Fire Depatment was assisted at the scene by the Greensburg Police Department, Decatur County EMS and representatives of Duke Energy.
Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056