by Mitchell Kirk
---- — TWELVE MILE — A house southeast of town was destroyed by a fire early Saturday morning.
At about 4:30 a.m. Saturday, firefighters responded to a fire at a two-story house on the 9100 block of East 550 North near Twelve Mile.
"It was pretty much fully engulfed when we got there," said Pascal Moon, chief of the Twelve Mile Community Fire Department.
Moon said a man and a woman were in the house at the time of the fire and were able to escape. He added the man cut his hands and legs entering the house through a broken window in an attempt to rescue dogs that were inside kennels. The efforts were unsuccessful, however, and the dogs died in the fire. The man was taken to Logansport Memorial Hospital for his injuries.
Fire departments from Lucerne, New Waverly, Mexico and Denver assisted, Moon said. The Cass County Highway Department, Rural/Metro ambulance service and the Cass County Sheriff's Department were on scene as well.
Moon said because the house had a metal roof, much of the fire was contained inside. By about 6:30 a.m., Moon said he was releasing assisting fire departments, while Twelve Mile firefighters stayed until about 8 a.m. putting out areas that continued to smolder.
The cause of the fire could not be determined. Moon said because of the amount of damage, "there's just no way we can pinpoint exactly where it was at."
Moon described the outcome as "a total, complete loss on the structure and the contents inside of it," with the house's roof completely off and its walls stripped down to the frame.
As difficult economic times persist through this winter, Moon said people often resort to unsafe heating practices inside their homes. He urged members of the community to not overload electrical circuits, be mindful of how they fuel their wood-burning stoves and ensure their chimneys are working properly.
"We still have a couple months of winter left to go here," Moon said.
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him: @PharosMAK