Home destroyed by fire late Tuesday afternoon
An Adams County home, located at 3310 200 North belonging to the Joe L.D. Schwartz family, was completely destroyed by fire on Tuesday afternoon when a pickup truck left the road, ran into the home and caught on fire.
Monroe fire chief Russell Cook said that his department received a call at approximately 3:30 p.m. concerning the fire located approximately five miles east and slightly north of Monroe.
“When we arrived we discovered the home completely engulfed in flames,” said Cook.
Cook said that upon arrival, his department learned that a truck with a lawn mower in the vehicle bed had left the road and driven into the east side of the house. The mower and truck ignited into flames, which immediately spread to the house.
The driver, Patrick Wellman of rural Monroe, refused treatment at the scene.
“A neighbor across the road saw it happen. He said that his truck was being worked on in his garage,” said Cook. “He said that he wished that he could have taken his truck across the road to pull the truck that had collided away from the house but it happened all too soon.”
Cook said that Schwartz was home at the time but was able to get out of the house safely.
Although Monroe was the primary fire department called to the blaze in their territory, assistance was provided with a tanker, pumper and manpower from Decatur, cascade from Preble Township and a tanker and manpower from Willshire.
In addition, the Decatur Fire Department provided back up to Monroe with a pumper on standby. Cook noted that there had been at least 60 firemen involved in fighting the blaze.
“This fire had special meaning to me,” said Cook. “This had been my grandfather’s place. My mother was there watching this afternoon. She had lived there; I know that it was hard on her.
“One of Joe’s sons told me that his family had lived there for 28 years,” added Cook. “He said that it was so hard to see that all disappear. I know that the family is already making plans to order wood and rebuild."
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