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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- A devastating fire destroys a home in southern Indiana Saturday.
WDRB was on scene moments after the house went up in flames late Saturday morning.
Firefighters from New Chapel Fire Department tried to fight it but the wind fueled the fire.
They called for backup and it took them a little over half an hour to gain control.
"I was actually in downtown New Albany which is quite a ways from here and we were driving towards it and it was just big black smoke in front of us," said Lorrie Ramirez.
Ramirez knows the homeowners well.
"We've offered to help. Other neighbors have offered to help to see what we can do. I've actually got some of their laundry going right now just to give them some fresh clothes tonight if we can get the stink out," she told WDRB.
WDRB is told the couple has owned the house for 18 years.
Neighbors say the wife was at work when the fire started and that her husband was in his office in the basement.
"It went up really fast. I just talked to another one of the neighbors and she said they heard the explosion," said Ramirez.
Firefighters say the observant neighbors are to thank.
"It's a nice day and a lot of people are out. Move the clock back a couple days with ice and cold, nobody would have been out. It could have been a lot worse," said Amir Mousavi, New Chapel Fire Department's Asst. Chief.
He said the house is destroyed along with most of their belongings.
"It's just so sad because these are neighbors who-their house is meticulous. Their home is always upgraded. Their landscaping is always beautiful and their home is their whole focus," said Ramirez.
"When I talked to her earlier, I think they're in shock." she said.
Officials say it will take restoration specialists several days to clean the property.
"This structure is unsafe and we want neighbors to keep kids and pets out of this area," Mousavi told WDRB.