Firefighters from Clay County Volunteer departments work to extinguish a house fire at 8245 N. CR 200 E on Thursday. The fire began in the garage of the home belonging to Ken and Tina Michael, then spread to their house ultimately causing an explosion and injuring at least six firefighters.
By JOSH CANNON
A structure fire that ignited in a Brazil family's garage spread to their house and ultimately caused an explosion ruining any hope they had of saving their belongings late Thursday.
Ken Michael was at home with his eight- and nine-year-old sons when his wife, Tina, arrived home around 5 p.m. and said their garage was on fire. The couple immediately called the fire department and got their children outside.
"Our kids kept saying 'We didn't start it,'" Tina Michael said, standing outside her still-burning house. She said she had no idea what started the fire at 8245 N. CR 200 E.
The Michaels made it out of their house safely, but the ir cat and fish didn't make it, she said.
With tears in her eyes, Tina thanked some firefighters for doing what they could, while other firefighters worked tirelessly to extinguish the blaze. As the fire spread to the house, firefighters began climbing on ladders to douse the flames.
A half hour after several responders from numerous fire departments arrived, a thunderous boom was followed by the sound of shattering glass as the house exploded, its doors hurtling outward as shattered window glass flew outward and the roof caved inward. During the explosion, a firefighter who was up on a ladder was knocked to the ground.
The firefighter got up, but it was not immediately clear if he sustained any injuries from the impact or debris. Following the explosion more Trans-Care personnel arrived and a helicopter also landed near the Michaels' burning home in case any injuries needed immediate attention.
Other firefighters were injured in the blast, but it was also unclear how many.
"Twenty-five years of accumulation and stuff. The only thing we can't replace is the pictures," she said. "As long as we're alive and we're healthy, that stuff can be replaced."
A concern raised by several spectators, and by Tina, was the lack of a fire hydrant in the rural area they lived in.
"When we do rebuild we are going to have a fire hydrant in our front yard," she said.
Persons interested in donating funds or personal items to the Michael family may call Pat Rader at 812-986-2871.