Flames were discovered coming from a residence at 3364 N 500 W at about 1:41 a.m., but when the fire actually started isn't certain. The son of the home's owner, Ronnie Martin, discovered the blaze and called 911, but by then the unoccupied building was already engulfed in flames, and had collapsed in on itself by the time the nearest police units arrived just a few minutes later.
The cause of the fire wasn't certain and remains under investigation, but determining it will be difficult because of the amount of damage. The residence and all its contents, which is at the end of a long lane east of Kimmell, were completely destroyed.
Several Albion and Cromwell fire trucks responded to the call, along with a Noble County EMS unit and Ligonier Police officers. The Ligonier Fire Department was also called out when police reported seeing flames from miles away, but Ligonier trucks turned back once it was determined the structure couldn't be saved. Firefighters were on the scene until after 4 a.m.
At 2:14 a.m., while firefighters were battling the first fire, Noble County Sheriff's Department dispatchers received a report of a second fire on North Olive Street, in Cromwell. With Cromwell fire units already committed, the Ligonier Fire Department was sent to the second call, along with Albion fire trucks that could be freed up from the first incident.
Responders found a large pile of firewood and trash burning, with the radiant heat endangering a car parked just a short distance away. Police officers were able to move the car and alert the property owner, who wasn't aware of the fire, and firefighters doused the blaze in about ten minutes.
The cause of the fire is unknown but may be suspicious, and an investigation is ungoing. No one was injured in either of the incidents.