A Christmas afternoon fire gutted an eastern Whitley County home despite the efforts of volunteer firefighters from five departments.
The fire was reported about 1 p.m. Sunday at the 10807 Highway 92E home of Tommy Gambrel.
Patterson Creek Volunteer Fire Chief Robert “Pee Jib” Paul said that Gambrel was in his kitchen cooking a pork chop, went to the restroom, and when he got back there was a fire in the kitchen.
Gambrel grabbed a fire extinguisher and thought he had the blaze put out, but it had instead spread into the attic without his knowledge.
A short time later, someone knocked on Gambrel’s door reporting that smoke was pouring out of the roof.
Firefighters were able to help Gambrel save some papers, shotguns and other items, but “the house was a total loss,” Paul noted.
19 firefighters from Patterson Creek, Williamsburg, Rockholds, Woodbine and Emlyn were on scene of the blaze for over five hours.
Gambrel wasn’t injured during the fire.