Woman, children escape Terre Haute fire

(WISH Photo, file)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Officials responded to a structure fire on Deming Street in Terre Haute Monday.

The call was around 2:20 p.m. for a fire at 620 Deming Street where there was heavy smoke coming from the home. The building is a three apartment home. There was a woman and her two young children in the basement apartment when the fire started on the second floor.

Firefighters at the scene are reporting the second story ceiling began to collapse so all firefighters were pulled out of the house. The investigator at the scene stated since the firefighters cannot be inside the home they can only ‘attack the fire’ with as many hoses as possible from the outside.

Our crew at the scene was also told this fire is not going to be put out any time soon.

Duke Energy has shut off the power to that home and officials at the scene have reported the two block radius is affected as well.

A devastating blaze ripped through a Terre Haute apartment complex Monday afternoon. While firefighters fought a dangerous fire and cold temperatures, one family sat in the basement apartment unaware of the danger above.

Monday afternoon, smoke poured out of the 2nd floor of a house turned apartment on Deming Street; one block off of Center Street.

“We have a fire in the upstairs apartment,” Jeff Hodges Terre Haute Fire Department Investigator said. “The guys spent about 15 minutes in there trying to get it under control. It flashed over they told me twice. Fire banked them down so much they had to retreat.”

Flames forced Terre Haute’s fire department to continue the battle outside. But what they didn’t know was the house was not empty.

“The lights were flickering and I started smelling weird things and a lot of noise and I walked upstairs,” Samantha Donham said.

Donham and her two sons, aged 4 months and 15 months, sat in their basement residence. She said no smoke alarm warned them that a fire raged above their apartment. Her alarm was a fireman she saw in the hallway.

“He said, ‘You gotta get out now because the apartment is on fire’.” Donham explained. “I looked up seen smoke rolling out. I grabbed the boys out and we ran out and we got into the ambulance.”

The quick flight left her only enough time to grab the essentials: family.

“Right now I don’t really feel anything. We literally lost everything we own. I don’t know,” Donham said.

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