TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) - Four fires across Tippecanoe County claimed three lives, two dogs, and sent another man to the hospital all in just one day.
The first fire happened early Thursday morning just south of Lafayette on county road 350 East claiming the life of 31-year-old Shannon Servies. Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department Detective Jacob Amberger said they now know what caused that fire.
"From the fire investigators it looks like it was an outlet," Amberger said. "A loose outlet or a faulty outlet to an electric stove that sparked and caused the fire."
Later Thursday afternoon in Battle Ground crews responded to a fire where they found a camper trailer in flames. Dustin Crawford was inside and was sent to IU Health Arnett Hospital and then later Wishard Hospital for burns. Firefighters said the cause of that fire is believed to be from a kerosene heater.
The third fire of the day happened in Lafayette at Navarre Court around 8:30 at night. Jay Patterson was in his home when the fire started in his living room. Firefighters said Patterson was taken to St. Elizabeth East and then Wishard Hospital where he later died from his wounds. Patterson's dog also died in the fire. Firefighters said that fire started from some sort of smoking material that wasn't put out properly.
The last fire happened in Dayton claiming the life of a man and his dog. That man was 52-year-old Jimmy Edwards. Sheffield Fire Chief Bill Huffer said crews had a hard time moving through the house.
"After an extended search due to the break up of the house and how it was laid out and obstacles they retrieved the victim 15 to 20 minutes after our arrival," Huffer said.
After four fires and three lost lives firefighters want to warn people to check their smoke detectors and be careful using space heaters.
"Using that space heater you need to make sure you're there with it the whole time," Sheffield Fire Department Public Information Officer Thomas Sholty said. "Make sure there's a cleared area around it where there's nothing that can catch fire. No paper, no cardboard, certainly no flammable materials in there no gasoline or anything like that."
Sholty said another common cause of fires is smoking.
"Be aware of where you're smoking, be aware of where any ash may land off the end of the cigarette," Sholty said. "Obviously, we want to stress never smoke in bed. That's a major cause of fires."
Another important thing firefighters want to remind people of is having an escape route. Most important, check your smoke detectors. Firefighters said two of the homes where there were fatal fires didn't have working smoke detectors.
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