INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A Fountain Square couple escaped a devastating house fire with literally the clothes on their backs and nothing else into a sub-zero night and while thankful to be alive, they share regrets over precautions not taken.
“It has taught me a good lesson. Wherever I’m at, I will have renters’ insurance the next time,” said Enrico Cobb outside the fire-gutted, one-story house where he lived for eight years in the 1400 block of Linden Street. “Please get renters’ insurance so you won’t have to go through the same problems we have because this could’ve been a loss of life and I’m just blessed because I’m still here.”
Cobb and Sandra Tharp awoke to scratching on the bedroom door shortly after 2 a.m. last Thursday to find their dining room in flames.
“Couldn’t see anything, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t hear anything, but I knew that window was there and I said, ‘We’re getting out of here,’” recalled Cobb who cut his hand breaking the bedroom window to make his escape. “I went next door then I kinda lost my perspective because I bled out so much I started getting light headed and dizzy.”
Within minutes IFD firefighters put out the flames, which caused $30,000 in damages.
Investigators traced the spark back to a spliced electrical cord as Cobb and Tharp used four space heaters and an open stove set at 200 degrees all night to beat back temperatures that plummeted during the recent cold snap.
“We were doing that to keep the sinks from freezing cuz they froze,” said Cobb.
Investigators also found there were no working smoke detectors in the rental house.
Cobb and Tharp lost three dogs and everything they owned.
“I just paid the rent that day, got everything together, went to bed and at two o’clock in the morning, foof, everything went up in flames,” said Cobb who called his landlord later that day. “I spoke with him asking him would it be possible to get my rent money back and he kinda brushed it off and he seems like he doesn’t want to give it back.”
The landlord did not return a phone call from FOX59 News.
“He’s the only one making money and I’ve been trying to get disability for 13 years,” said Tharp as she stood by Cobb’s side. “This situation we were in was not great. It was not great at all.”
“We’re just trying to find a place to stay and trying to rebuild now,” said Cobb, “because this is a mess.”