Monrovia, Ind.—UPDATE: Some record dry weather mixed with dangerous winds added up to devastation for a central Indiana homeowner and lots of work for fire departments across central Indiana on Monday.
A small grass fire shot across a yard in Morgan County Monday afternoon, swallowing a home and a small barn. The homeowners got out safely, but their house was a total loss in just 20 minutes.
"It got the side of the house, got up into the attic and it just turned into like a (wind) tunnel," said Lt. Ray Eldridge with the Monroe Township Fire Department. "It shot the fire completely down through the entire home."
Gary Judson lives next door and expected the worst as he drove home.
"When I came down the road there were just a lot of fire trucks and heavy smoke," Judson said. "When I got to the house I couldn't hardly see our house because of the smoke."
Judson was far from the only one seeing smoke on his way home. Members of the Fox 59 street team snapped several pictures of a 100 acre field fire near Bargersville, that also moved quickly.
"It was a dandy," said Paul Bird with the Bargersville Fire Department. "It moved across the field like it was... like a California wildfire."
Bird says the field ignited from farm machinery during harvest. At least 75 Firefighters from several departments helped keep the fire from spreading to any homes despite some of the worst conditions imaginable for a field fire.
"Extremely dry," Bird said. "It's gusty winds, 25 miles per hour at times. It's just terrible for fire."
The same dry conditions and wind were to blame in Morgan County too. In fact the combination was too much for Gary Judson to even hose down his home next door.
"The smoke was too heavy," Judson said. "I couldn't do it so I got out."
Lucky for him firefighters from six department brought their own water, via several tanker trucks. The effort helped keep the damage contained to the one home. It's still one too many homes for one family who lost everything in minutes.
"Just a small little fire, with a wind, turns into a major disaster like we've had here today," Eldridge said.
Firefighters are still investigating what ignited the grass fire, which quickly claimed that home near Monrovia.
UPDATE: The dry weather and lack of rain are being blamed for several field fires that broke out Monday afternoon.
Fire broke out in a farm field along State Road 135 south of Bargersville late Monday afternoon. Firefighters said the wind and dry conditions were the main contributors to the fire.
Around 4:45, firefighters said they had most of the fire under control. No homes were threatened but the fire did move across railroad tracks in Johnson County.
Johnson County is currently under a burn ban due to lack of rain.
In Hancock County, a fire was reported in the Shirley area (9700 North, 1200 East). At last check, one home was in danger but no one was hurt.
Off I-70 in Marion County, a fire was reported near the 92 mile marker. Lawrence Township firefighters were able to quickly extinguish it.
In Morgan County, wind is being blamed for a field fire in the 10000 block of Antioch Road. Six fire companies were called out to help, Plainfield firefighters were assisting Morgan County units.
This story will be udpated.