An older home converted into several units can be a dangerous place to live. One woman learned this lesson the hard way after narrowly escaping a Terre Haute apartment fire.
The upstairs unit was burning so out of control that firefighters had to retreat and fight it from the outside after the second floor began to collapse. Meanwhile, likely because of a lack of central fire alarm in this converted home, a woman and her two sons both under age two were completely unaware of the danger just a few feet away.
This Terre Haute apartment fire was beyond control before the woman even realized there was a cause for concern. She noticed an odd smell, but thought nothing of it for far too long. When she left her basement apartment to investigate the smell, she was greeted by a firefighter in the hallway who was as surprised as she was. The fire department had believed the building to be unoccupied, and the second floor was beginning to collapse. She and her children had just minutes to escape the apartment fire on Deming Street.
The cause of the apartment fire in Terre Haute will be difficult to determine because of the second floor collapse and the general instability of what remains of the structure. Investigation is ongoing, but it is known that there was no central alarm system. The units were split out of an older home some years ago, which is quite common in the area. Like most residents of Terre Haute, none of the tenants had Indiana renters insurance.
It is unknown why an effort was not made to evacuate all tenants, though it’s possible that the firefighters were unaware of the existence of the basement apartment. Frigid temperatures and recent snowfall made fighting this fire more difficult, and several blocks of town had power shut off for hours. The shutoff of power to a wide area as in this case adds an additional element of danger to this Terre Haute apartment fire.
Telephone service by the local cable provider is a popular way to maintain a home phone in the area. The battery backup on those devices is fine if one home loses power. But when a wide area has the power cut because of a structure fire, the amplifiers and other equipment used by the cable company on the line also lose power, rendering phone service from the cable company unusable, even in the event of an emergency.
Terre Haute apartment fires are unfortunately quite common, due to the many converted single family residences without the safety features of modern apartment complexes. Fire spreads quickly through these wood frame dwellings, and often neighboring buildings are affected. While you can and should make every effort to avoid fire, you can’t control what your neighbors do. That’s why it’s so important to have Terre Haute renters insurance from Effective Coverage. For as little as fifteen dollars a month, you can have protection for your personal property as well as the additional costs incurred in living elsewhere as a result of an apartment fire. Because it sits on a state line and on a major interstate that’s heavily traveled between Indianapolis and St. Louis, hotels in Terre Haute can be expensive and often full. Renters insurance can help with those expenses and the other costs of rebuilding your life.