‘Suspicious’ car fire outside Lawrence home prompts investigation

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) — A car was incinerated and a family put at risk after a vehicle caught fire in a Lawrence driveway. But the suspicious fire doesn’t have a definitive cause, yet.

Lindsey Gruca-Verde was woken up around 3 a.m. Tuesday by an unusual glow outside of her home in The Greens at Winding Ridge neighborhood. Being the middle of the night, she got up to investigate.

“So I came to look out front just to see what was going on and I could see that the car was on fire,” said Gruca-Verde.

Seeing the flames rolling out of their family vehicle that was parked right in front of their house led her to rush to wake everyone up.

“Immediately was to get my husband up and to get the fire extinguisher and and get our daughter out of the house,” said Gruca-Verde.

Once she got out front there wasn’t much their fire extinguisher could do.

“Pretty much all of the windows had been busted out and the flames were coming out the sides of the windows. I actually thought we had a sunroof for a minute because you could see the heat coming out from the top and everything,” said Gruca-Verde.

The fire seems to have started in the front of the car. All that is left is some of the metal frame and ash from what used to be their only vehicle.

“My 2-year-old daughter’s life was put at risk, regardless, just with the car being on fire in the driveway, so close to the house and everything,” said Gruca-Verde.

The home is covered in surveillance cameras but the one closest to the car was unplugged that night. One of their cameras caught a glimpse of the fire but not until after it had already been burning for a few minutes.

“Even if we could just get the beginning of the fire, whatever started it to get answers,” said Gruca-Verde.

Investigators are not calling the incident an arson but they also have not ruled it out. The mystery is keeping Gruca-Verde up at night.

“I am having nightmares of what sounds like, of the car blowing up because that was my biggest fear that night,” said Gruca-Verde.

Investigators are asking people in the Winding Ridge neighborhood to check their surveillance cameras to see if they have any video from around 3 am on July 20th. They ask that you please send anything you may find to the Lawrence Fire Department.