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Update: Heat lamp blamed for fire north of Evansville

Firefighters from multiple departments attempt to put out a house fire roughly five miles northeast of Evansville. The house is believed to be unoccupied when first responders arrived. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)1 / 4
A house northeast of Evansville was reported on fire about 9 a.m. Thursday. Multiple fire departments responded to the call. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)2 / 4
A firefighter cuts into the side of the house, releasing billows of smoke on Thursday, Nov. 30. As of 10:30 a.m., the house was still ablaze. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)3 / 4
Fire continued to burn in the attic of a house northeast of Evansville about 90 minutes after the fire was first reported on Thursday, Nov. 30. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)4 / 4

A heat lamp is being blamed for a house fire north of Evansville on Thursday morning.  

The fire was reported about 9 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 30, by Larry Carlson as he drove by the property at 17954 Stockhaven Road NW. The house is about five miles northeast of Evansville near Stockhaven Lake.  

Shane Johnson and Michelle Kujawa are the residents of the home on the property owned by Wayne Rudd, a news release from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said. The house was believed to have been unoccupied at the time the fire began.

“That whole corner was engulfed,” Larry Carlson said motioning to the right front corner of the house.

The fire started under the deck where a heat lamp was placed in a dog kennel, according to the sheriff’s office. The fire climbed the outside of the house to the roof area.

The fire left the home unlivable. The resident planned to stay with friends temporarliy, the sheriff's office said. 

Fire Departments from Millerville, Brandon and Evansville responded, along with the sheriff's office and North Ambulance. The fire departments left the scene about 12:30 p.m.

When Carlson arrived, there was an outside chainlink animal pen to one side of the house with a pot-bellied pig and one dog inside. The pen was on the opposite side of the house from the visible flames that Carlson saw.

“I tried to let them out but the dog was too shy,” Carlson said. The animals were released from the pen and made it safely away from the burning structure.

“We’ll have to round up the pot-bellied pig and two dogs when it’s all done,” Carlson said.

The sheriff's office said the pig and dogs had been found after the fire.

Jeff Beach contributed to this report.

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