Bartholomew County home destroyed by morning fire

A rural home near Elizabethtown was destroyed in an early morning fire.

The fire at 2290 S. County Road 900E was reported at about 4:36 a.m., said Capt. Dave Thompson, Columbus Township Fire Department spokesman.

Firefighters said they believe the fire started in a wood-fired type furnace that was in the home’s garage, Thompson said.

The one-story home was a rental, and the occupant attempted to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher but then called 911, Thompson said.

The furnace’s flue recently had been cleaned and investigators are looking into whether something malfunctioned when the renter started a wood fire in the furnace when returning home early Friday, Thompson said.

Estimated loss of the house and its contents is about $120,000, Thompson said.

Columbus Township firefighters said they did not have the names of the renter or the owner of the home.

Elizabethtown, Clay Township, Hartsville and Columbus Township firefighters worked at the scene until nearly 11 a.m., Thompson said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.