Residential fire displaces several New Albany residents

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by Michelle Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on January 24, 2014 at 7:29 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 24 at 7:17 PM

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) -- There were wild flames in New Albany overnight on Friday, Jan. 24, the cold has taken over again, but much is lost.

"Now everything is gone we have nothing," former resident Mike Miller said.

Authorities were called to the scene around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23. Two families lived in the apartment building on the corner of Chartres and Clarks street. Mike Miller and his wife and two kids escaped but their family cat did not.

"By the time we got outside, not a minute or two later, the top of the house was on fire," Miller said.
 
It took nearly 20 firefighters to get the flames under control.

"When the units first arrived we had a hard time finding it and catching up to it. They have been chasing it since they got here," New Albany Fire Department Chief Brian Gadd said.

At one point there was an extremely dangerous situation for one of the firefighters when the fire burnt through the second floor.

"One of our firefighters did go through. He was able to pull himself out. He was not injured," Gadd said.

The family that lived upstairs says they believe the fire started from a bad breaker box they were having problems with earlier in the evening. The occupant's father was on the scene early Friday morning.

"The breaker box sparked real bad, so I shut all the breakers off. I went in and unplugged everything out of the wall. I told him 'call your landlord back the breaker box is sparking real bad,'" said the occupant's father Donald Wood.

Wood says the landlord told his son to find somewhere else to sleep that night because it was too late at night to fix. The landlord said that it would be taken care of in the morning.

"If the landlord had taken action right then, this fire would not have happened. He not only jeopardized the kids, he jeopardized the people downstairs by not taking action," Wood said.
 
WHAS saw the owner of the property on Friday afternoon. She had no comment.  The New Albany Fire Department says they are still investigating the cause of the fire. 

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