A fire heavily damaged a mobile home in the 2600 block of Milmar Court.
Columbus firefighters were sent to the home at 3:52 p.m. Monday after Columbus police reported there was smoke coming from the mobile home, and that the occupants had left the home.
Firefighters from Engine Co. 2 arrived and reported heavy smoke, while confirming that all occupants were outside the mobile home, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman.
Firefighters used water to put out the fire from a covered porch area and then moved into the single story manufactured home, getting the fire under control within 30 minutes, Wilson said.
Small isolated pockets of fire continued to smolder until crews could remove stored items inside the home. Due to the amount of possessions located in the residence, firefighters cut an access point in an exterior wall to aid in removing the materials out of the home. As items were moved from the interior to the exterior, firefighters were able to locate the smoldering pockets of fire and fully extinguish the flames.
The homeowner, Robert Gentry, 86, told investigators that three adults were in the home at the time of the fire — Gentry, his wife, and an adult son.
Investigators learned that Gentry’s son was working underneath the home to unthaw a frozen water line when smoke was discovered under the home in the area of a dryer vent, Wilson said.
After seeing smoke on the exterior of the home, Gentry’s son entered that trailer to attempt to find the source. Gentry’s son pulled the dryer away from the wall and saw flames located where the floor meets the wall. Robert Gentry said that an attempt to extinguish the fire was unsuccessful and the flames continued to grow.
Gentry stated that at that point he called 9-1-1 to report the fire. Gentry said that the accumulation of smoke activated the home’s smoke alarms and all three adults left the home to wait the arrival of firefighters.
The home and contents are considered a total loss with a damage estimate of $ 70,000, Wilson said. No injuries were reported at the scene. The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.
Agencies that assisted during the incident include the Columbus Police Department, Columbus Regional Health EMS, Columbus City Utilities, Duke Energy, Vectren Energy and the Bartholomew County Emergency Operation Center. Robert Gentry told investigators that he will arrange temporary lodging with family members. Gentry stated that the home is insured.