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Fire dept. reports unsafe conditions in home

BLOCKED OFF:Fire scene tape surrounds the porch at the scene of a house fire at 502 W. Second Street on Tuesday.

BY Kaitlin Gebby - kgebby@chronicle-tribune.com

A Marion home was reported to Department of Child Services and the Grant County Health Department for unsafe conditions after an investigation by the Marion Fire Department Tuesday morning.

Residents called 911 to report excessive smoke coming from the basement of their house on West Second Street around 1:30 a.m. When MFD arrived, Fire Investigator Brandon Eckstein said firefighters made it halfway down the stairs before noticing 4 feet of water.

To avoid risk of electrical shock, Eckstein said firefighters had Indiana and Michigan Electric utility ensure electricity to the home was shut off. He discovered that the water interacting with the gas furnace created the excessive amounts of smoke.

During his investigation, he saw that the water heater was submerged in water, several windows were missing on the home and the home suffered from a “serious” cockroach infestation. The homeowners said they’d reported the issues to their landlord, but they remained unsolved.

The adults who maintain the residents were not permitted to continue living at the home due to the unsafe conditions and lack of electricity. They advised Eckstein that an 8-month-old child visited the home frequently, so the investigator contacted the Indiana Department of Child Services to make a report as well.

Jerry Foustnight, building inspector, said the health department was investigating the conditions of the home Tuesday afternoon.