DECATUR — The Decatur Fire Department responded to a small greenhouse fire in the 100 block of Maurine Manor in the Wilder Haven East mobile home park Tuesday night, keeping firefighters busy after two fires decimated two homes Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Fire inspector Mike Wigginton said the Wilder Haven East call came into the department at 7:44 p.m. The homeowner tried to put out the blaze with a small extinguisher before calling the fire department to the mobile home park at Greenswitch and East Mound roads on the city's northeast side.
"It was a valiant effort on her part," Wigginton said.
The windy conditions thwarted the woman's effort, as she was not able to make a feasible pattern to put out the flames, Wigginton said. The cause was an electrical fault in a power strip, he said, estimating the total loss at $2,300.
The home at the corner of West Wood and South Monroe Streets had been vacant for about a week prior to the Monday night fire there. The occupant was moving items out of the home throughout the week, and neighbors reported homeless people going inside the home during this time, Wigginton said.
Wiggington said crews were at the residence on West Decatur Street until about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Fire Chief Jeff Abbott said Tuesday that from what he understood an occupant on the second floor heard an argument on the front porch. He went downstairs to see what was going on, went back upstairs and smelled smoke. He then looked outside and saw the porch on fire before escaping.
Wiggington said the department will hopefully be able to do an inside assessment of the homes Thursday. He also believes the timing of the fires was coincidence, and they are not related. No injuries were reported in either fire and both structures were a complete loss.