SPICELAND, Ind. — It’s been a terribly sad day for the small town of Spiceland in Henry County. A husband had to be pulled from his burning home by his ankles by a neighbor. He was trying to save his wife.
“This is probably the worst we’ve had and I’ve been here 26 years,” said Spiceland Fire Chief Scott Teague.
When Chief Teague and the other volunteer firefighters arrived, the house in the 600 block of Broad Street was engulfed.
A man, badly burned, was in the snow.
Their neighbors and best friends, Lindy and Mark Gideon, heard their own dog barking around 4 a.m. and ran outside.
“He was in no shape by the time we got him out,” said Lindy Gideon. “He tried to get up, but if we would’ve let him, there was nothing. We told him it’s too late, it’s just too late and then he just kinda collapsed.”
He was rushed to Eskenazi Hospital with burns on 80% of his body. As of 4 p.m. Thursday, he was in critical condition in the burn unit.
Firefighters found his wife’s remains by a window. Their family dog died by her side.
“We wished we could’ve done more,” said Gideon. “There was nothing that… it went up so fast, I’ve never seen anything like it before. They’ve been married forever. It’s tragic. You wonder why.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Five fire departments helped Spiceland battle the blaze.
A frozen fire hydrant stalled their efforts for a few minutes. Chief Teague says he doesn’t believe it would have changed the outcome.
The home used to be a barn and was converted into a living space. The garage was downstairs and the living area was upstairs.
“There are probably 1,000 people in town,” said Chief Teague. “It’s a pretty close community so everybody will come together and help them out through this.”