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January 31, 2011

Fire claims home

Deployed mother learns of loss through Red Cross

Tribune staff writer

Kokomo — The husband and children of a soldier deployed in Afghanistan are without a home today.

A fire destroyed their house Monday afternoon.

Kokomo firefighters were called to the home, in the 400 block of West Jefferson Street, just after noon.

Battalion Chief Doug Thomas said the rear half of the house was fully involved, but firefighters were able to prevent the fire from moving into the front half of the house.

Homeowner Steve Lamberson was the only person home at the time, and he was out of the house when the firefighters arrived.

“We were able to save the dogs that were in the house,” Thomas said.

He said investigators had not determined a cause of the fire, which started in the kitchen.

Lamberson and his father, Steve Lamberson Sr., watched from the street as firefighters used ladders to climb in through the second-story bedroom windows, as smoke billowed from the roof.

Lamberson said he had been melting grease on top of the stove and stepped away just long enough to dress for work. When he returned to the kitchen, he found it on fire.

He said his four kids, ages 8, 11, 12 and 15, were all at school.

Steve Lamberson Sr. said his son’s wife, Michelle, is in Afghanistan, serving with the U.S. Army. He said they would send a Red Cross message to her, alerting her about what happened.

One firefighter was injured fighting the fire. Thomas said the injured firefighter suffered second-degree burns to his face from the heat of the fire.

Thomas said the Red Cross had been in contact with the Lamberson family to assist them.

• Danielle Rush is the Kokomo Tribune education reporter. She can be reached at 765-454-8585 or danielle.rush@kokomotribune.com.


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