Family loses everything after fire started by bathroom exhaust fan

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. - A Zionsville family is without a home after a fire quickly spread causing them to lose everything.

Firefighters say the flames started in a bathroom exhaust fan. Crews saw flames coming from the roof when they arrived to the home Wednesday. The fire was confined to the attic.

"Once I got here flames were already put out but the fire investigators were here and they found out the root cause was the bathroom fan," daughter Melissa Mestetsky said.

The fan had been in the home for 17 years.

Captain Mike Pruitt with the Wayne Township Fire Department says these type of fires are not uncommon.

"That fire being in the ceiling many times can go undetected and spread into the attic space before we know what's going on," Pruitt said.

From everyday use the fans naturally collect lint and dust. The wear and tear can also become a fire hazard.

And the motor also becomes very dirty and over time it's going to cause that motor to stop functioning properly and we're going to get an electrical fire or a fire that starts from the lint and the dust that's in the fan," Pruitt said.

Captain Pruitt says you should check and clean your bathroom exhaust fan at least once a year.

"If you do notice there's any damage of discoloration to the fan or anywhere around it then let's get a new fan and get that installed in the home," Pruitt said.

Even in a stressful situation the family is thankful this lesson didn't cost them their lives.

"Don't take things for granted. Keep an eye out on all the small things in a home," Mestetsky said.

The family was not home when the fire started and their pets did make it out.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.