Vietnam War veteran’s home destroyed by fire

(Provided Photo/The Republic)

Taylorville, Ind. (WISH) – Firefighters worked to extinguish a fire that broke out at a disabled Vietnam War veteran’s home on Friday morning.

Firefighters were called to Don Purkey’s home in the 8500 block of N. Sheffield Court in the Colony Park subdivision just before 10 a.m.

According to 24-Hour News 8’s news partners at the Columbus Republic the home was a total loss, but no one was injured.

Columbus firefighters say the fire quickly spread to a vacant home next door. That home had around $10,000 in damages.

Purkey’s damage estimate was over $170,000, which included three vehicles and his home.

A neighbor alerted Purkey to the fire while he was taking a shower. Once he opened the bathroom door he saw smoke in his hallway.

“I’ve seen fires, but I’ve never seen one go up that fast,” Purkey told the Republic.

(Provided Photo/ The Republic)
(Provided Photo/ The Republic)

He quickly grabbed his shih tzu dog and exited the home. Purkey said he lived alone in the home.

The cause remains under investigation, Columbus Township Fire Chief Rodney Ferrenburg said. The homeowner said he was not sure what could have sparked the fire.

Fire investigators say they were looking into the remains of a wood-stove chimney next to the garage.

The American Red Cross will assist Purkey with clothes and other necessities. Purkey did have insurance. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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