A destructive fire in north St Joseph Wednesday morning left a family of four without a place to live. Authorities say a volunteer firefighter from Savannah was driving by and spotted the fire in the 2200 block of Blackwell Road. He and a neighbor knocked on the door to make sure the family got out safely.
The Midland Empire Chapter of the American Red Cross is providing assistance to the family living in the home. There were no injuries.
Later Wednesday morning, fire inspectors deployed “Phoenix,” the St Joseph Fire Department’s accelerant-detecting dog, to rule out the possibility of foul play.
“His nose is more sensitive than the machines,” said Inspector Steve Henrichson.
“Right now we’re still looking for the actual origin and the cause,” Henrichson said, “but it appears to have started on the outside, underneath the porch, and then moved into the house. We did have a ruptured gas line that fed into the intensity of the fire.”
Henrichson says the residents kept a heat lamp and some hay underneath the porch for their dogs. He says they want to rule out any other possible causes before making a formal determination.
The house was a total loss.