Two die in Decatur house fire

Authored by Jim Langham on Aug 12, 2011

Claude West, 74, and Donna West, 71, died from smoke inhalation in a house fire in Decatur early on Thursday morning. According to Decatur fire officials, their department was dispatched to 720 Elm St. at 1:53 a.m. and arrived on the scene at 1:57 a.m. Although officials reported that the fire was under control in a short time, firefighters remained on the scene for several hours. Officials said that the first pump truck returned to the station at 6:40 a.m.
Twenty-one firefighters from the Decatur department were aided by 11 firemen from Preble who responded to a call for mutual aid at the scene. The fire did little damage to the exterior of the house but there was a large amount of damage on the inside.
There were no children living in the home, but two dogs also died in the fire.
The fire is currently under investigation by the Indiana Fire Marshall's office and members of the Decatur Fire Department. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Officials reported that the fire appeared to have started in the living room where one of the victims was found. The other victim was reportedly found in the hallway.

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