Nobody injured in two overnight house fires in LaGrange

Published 5:22 pm Thursday, July 20, 2017

Two unrelated house fires occurred between Wednesday night and Thursday morning in LaGrange. Nobody was injured in either fire, although both families are still recovering and picking up the pieces.

The first of the two fires occurred Wednesday around 10 p.m. at 1610 Broomwood Avenue. David Lee Hart Jr., the homeowner, told police that his grandson was playing with a lighter in the bathroom and accidentally caught a stack of towels on fire.

According to the police report, the juvenile told officers he set a toilet paper roll on fire and went to put it out but accidentally touched the towels on a rack between the toilet and sink.

“It burnt through the wall,” Hart said. “What saved the house really was the old wood.”

The damage was limited to just the bathroom, but the smoke damage has made it so that Hart and his family cannot stay there right now. He said he’s lived in the home for more than 30 years.

“I was in the bed asleep, my wife was watching TV and my daughter was in there,” Hart said. “My grandson came in and said ‘daddy, the bathroom is on fire.’ I went running. My fire extinguisher didn’t work so I knocked on [the neighbor’s door] and they gave me one. We got it out. It was still burning, but we got the fire down [before LFD arrived.]”

Hart said his insurance is paying for the damage.

The second of the two fires occurred at 189 Poplar Circle just after midnight.

The LaGrange Fire Department arrived on the scene at 12:08 a.m. to find flames and heavy smoke coming from the single story home. According to a press release from the fire department, personnel with the LaGrange Fire Department attacked the fire from the side of the home closest to the road.

The fire department managed to get the fire under control by 1:11 a.m.

There was nobody in inside the residence when the fire department arrived and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The damage to the inside of the house was substantial, but the majority of the structure was still standing on Thursday afternoon. The American Red Cross was called to provide assistance to the occupants.