House fire

Firefighters attack a fire at the home of Ralph Mast, 15781 C.R. 42, Clinton Township, Tuesday morning. The house was a complete loss but the garage was saved.

BENTON, Ind. — A house owned by Ralph Mast, 15781 C.R. 42, was destroyed by a fire Tuesday morning.

Sometime before 10:45 a.m. Ralph’s adult son Ryan woke up to the crackling sound of the fire while sleeping in a bedroom at the rear of the house he said. He was the only person in the house and escaped unharmed.

His sister, Sarah Mast, a sophomore at Fairfield High School, left school located just several blocks south of the fire. Family members embraced when she arrived at the scene.

Clinton Township Fire Chief Abe Schlabach said the fire originated in the kitchen and an investigation determined an electrical appliance plugged into an outlet was the cause.

The fire spread to the rest of the house but firefighters contained it before it damaged the garage.

Firefighters attacked the fire from the first floor interior of the house. Schlabach said firefighters were later ordered out of the house when flames and smoked began billowing out of an attic window, threatening to collapse the first floor ceiling.

Firefighters climbed the roof between the garage and the house and doused the fire in the attic through a second-story window.

Schlabach said Ryan will join Sarah who lives with their mother. Ralph told fire officials that he has a place to live.

Elkhart Township and Benton Township fire departments assisted in the fire.

Clinton Township’s new $336,000 fire truck was used for a structure fire in Millersburg for the first time during the incident Tuesday.

Respond: (574) 533-2151, ext. 310

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