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A firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion and two pets died during a house fire Friday afternoon in northwestern Bartholomew County.
The fire in the 7100 block of West Lowell Road appeared to be out within five minutes of firefighters arriving, but they quickly discovered it was still burning in the ceiling and called for more manpower to battle the blaze.
Property records show that Billy and Brenda Martin own the home.
A Columbus Township firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion.
Columbus Township Chief Rodney Ferrenburg said firefighters had just returned from working a crash on Interstate 65 when they were called to the house.
“It was so hot on that asphalt, it just wiped us out,” Ferrenburg said.
Firefighters from at least five departments, including Columbus, Harrison, German and Clay townships, Clifford and the city of Columbus, were soaked with sweat and passed around bottles of water outside the house.
A cat and a dog were killed in the blaze, but firefighters saved a kitten.
Firefighters also removed several guns and ammunition from the house to keep it from exploding in the fire.
The house had multiple ceilings, which complicated efforts to reach the fire and put it out, Ferrenburg said.
He thought Friday afternoon the fire started in the kitchen, but firefighters had not had time to investigate the cause.
The outside of the house had no apparent damage, but the inside sustained some damage.
Firefighters had not determined late Friday afternoon a damage estimate.
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