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House catches fire for second time in 3 weeks

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -Decatur Township firefighters said they can’t determine what started a blaze at home. It’s the second fire at the house in just weeks.

The most recent fire broke out Wednesday night on Winship Drive, which is near Mann Road and Epler Road on the city’s southwest side.

Investigators faced one main challenge. They weren’t able to find where the fire started and therefore weren’t able to determine how the fire was caused. Perhaps more importantly, they can’t say if it’s the work of an arsonist.

However, neighbors have drawn their own conclusions.

James Keaton isn’t taking any changes. Thursday morning he removed propane tanks from his neighbor’s camper.

“If it got to these tanks it’s going to blow up a couple of houses. They’ve done had damage to this house twice already,” he said.

Just three weeks ago, fire ripped through the camper. It spread to the attic of the home and also melted siding on the neighboring homes. Crews just replaced siding on one home.

“They had just finished that afternoon and then poof, it goes up again,” said Lisa Pennywell, who lives next door.

Then, on Wednesday night, it happened again. This time it destroyed the home.

“It was really high and really loud. And it was all of the sudden,” said Pennywell.

Although investigators can’t determine a cause, they do find the circumstances odd.

“It is unusual. But until we have facts to back up each fire, we can’t tell you it’s suspicious or anything of that sort. It is unusual,” said Decatur Township Fire Public Information Officer, Megan Thiele.

But neighbors have their minds made up. They believe it’s the work of an arsonist.

“One fire, OK. Fires happen all the time. But two to the same residence within three weeks span, that’s a lot,” said Pennywell.

Keaton added, “This trailer has been sitting here for three years with nothing hooked up to it. How in the world would it catch on fire.”

That question remains unanswered, however, one thing is certain; neighbors are fed up.

“It’s really suspicious and it’s really scary because our lives are in danger. Our homes are in danger,” Pennywell.

Thiele said investigators did not find accelerant on the scene. She added that accelerant usually points to arson. There were no reported injuries.