A local couple is expressing gratitude to family and firefighters for saving their western Bartholomew County home, significantly damaged by fire last week.

Away on a family vacation in northern Alabama, Ben and Erin Wagner where notified by phone June 7 that their home on Youth Camp Road in Harrison Township had caught fire.

Ben Wagner, the executive director at kidcommons museum, and Erin Wagner, a guidance counselor at Northside Middle School, were vacationing in northern Alabama with their four children and other family members when notified by her mother that their home at 11909 W. Youth Camp Road had caught fire.

The parents drove back immediately while Ben Wagner’s parents and other family members cared for their children in Alabama.

Upon their return, the Wagners found that their family room and two bedrooms in the two-story home’s lower level were significantly damaged, Erin Wagner said.

The Wagner home is located south of State Road 46 and west of Interstate 65, almost to the Brown County line.

Gene Wever, Bartholomew County fire inspector and investigator, gave a preliminary estimate of $100,000 in structural damage and $75,000 for personal contents and smoke damage. He said the fire caused electrical and structural damage to the lower level of the home.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.