An 18-month-old child was pulled from a burning home in Logansport Wednesday morning.
The Logansport Fire Department responded just after 9 a.m. Wednesday to reports that a child was trapped inside a burning structure on 20th Street.
Assistant fire chief Dave Huff reported that within minutes of its arrival, his crew was conducting a search for the boy.
Huff said visibility in the home was low with a large amount of thick, black smoke coming from the second story.
Firefighter Rick Bair found the child in an upstairs bedroom beneath a pile of clothes.
“That probably helped keep the smoke from him,” Bair said of the child’s location.
Huff said rescuers found the child in a matter of minutes. It was a team effort, Bair said.
Firefighters outside knocked out windows to vent some of the smoke and increase visibility for Bair and Steve Miller, who were searching inside the house.
“We were fortunate to have enough guys at the scene to allow us to get our search done quickly,” Bair said.
Several firefighters noted that before the child left for the hospital, he was breathing on his own. Firefighter Clayton Freels rode to Logansport Memorial with the child and said by the time they arrived at the hospital, the boy was coughing and able to grab his hand.
The boy was taken by ambulance to Fort Wayne's Parkview Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition Wednesday evening.
The child was the only person still inside when the fire department arrived.
The boy’s mother and three other children had already escaped from the house, according to Logansport fire investigator Ted Franklin.
Franklin said another woman and child lived in the home but had left earlier in the morning.
“One of the females had gotten up to take a 9- or 10-year-old kid to school,” Franklin said. “She said she turned the oven on before she left to get it preheated.”
She told him she was going to cook breakfast when she got back, but the fire in the oven had spread to the kitchen before she got the chance.
Franklin said the oven on the second floor definitely caused the fire, but why the oven was on in the first place is still uncertain.
“I still can’t rule out that the oven was being used as a heat source,”
When he went to investigate the fire, the oven door was open.
“That’s not consistent with someone trying to preheat the oven,” Franklin said.
And the only possibility of a heat source in the house, he said, were the electric stoves on the first and second floors.
He also noted that there was a sock and another piece of fabric inside the oven.
“I don’t know if they were trying to dry clothes in there or if one of the kids threw the sock in there,” Franklin said.
He might never know, he said.
Republished with permission of Pharos-Tribune.