BUTLER — The Indiana fire marshal’s office has ruled the cause of Wednesday’s fire at 307 E. Green St. in Butler as “accidental.”

The fire marshal’s investigator did not release what ignited the fire. Butler Fire Chief Jeff Shultz said the blaze started in the living room and spread into the kitchen area and attached two-car garage.

Owner and sole occupant Michael Bell was able to escape the home without injury, Shultz said.

The garage contained a 1980 Chevrolet Camaro and a Land Rover of an unknown year, vehicles Bell was repairing and restoring, Shultz said. The house and garage are believed to be total losses. Shultz did not have a damage estimate.

“There was heavy fire involvement coming from the back of the structure” when firefighters arrived, Shultz said. “Once we had a major knockdown on the fire, we were able to get inside.”

A thick smoke column could be seen from Waterloo, 8 miles to the west.

Firefighters were dispatched at 5:41 p.m. They brought the fire under control at 7:43 p.m. Fire crews remained at the scene until 9:17 p.m.

With high humidity and temperatures in the 90s, the fire prompted the response of 50 firefighters from eight departments.

“I want to thank all of the responding departments for their help with the heat,” Shultz said. “I also want to say thank you to the citizens. We had lots of random people walk up and handed us bottles of water. The community really helped us out.”

There were no injuries to firefighters, Shultz said. A DeKalb EMS paramedic crew tended to firefighters who worked in the heat and smoke of the fire.

Butler firefighters were assisted by crews from Waterloo, Auburn, Ashley, Hudson, Hamilton, Edgerton, Ohio, and Bryan, Ohio. Southeast Fire (Concord Township and Spencerville) sent an engine crew to cover Butler’s station.

Butler Police and the Indiana Fire Marshal’s office also assisted.

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