July 25, 2008

Kitchen Stove Fire Damages Home Occupant Overcome By Smoke

By GAVIN LESNICK, Courier & Press staff writer 464-7449 or [email protected]

An Evansville man was hospitalized with minor injuries after his residence caught fire on Tuesday night.

The blaze, which sparked just after 9 p.m. at 762 E. Virginia St., started when food on the stove ignited a nearby wall, said Evansville Fire Department investigator Jesse Storey. The fire then spread through the wall upstairs and into the attic.

Firefighters discovered 32-year-old Angelo Cooper on the ground floor, suffering from minor smoke inhalation, Storey said. He was offered first aid on the scene, then taken to Deaconess Hospital to be checked out.

The fire was noticed first by a group of children who saw smoke and knocked on the door to alert anyone inside. Storey said they heard a television, and that it seemed to turn off once they knocked, but nobody responded.

"They didn't know what happened," Storey said. "But nobody answered the door or came out. So they found someone to call 911. And we got there and the whole block was covered in smoke. It was real thick."

The blaze did not burn anything on the ground floor beyond the area immediately surrounding the stove. The upstairs and attic were damaged extensively.

Storey said it was unclear why Cooper did not leave when the children knocked on the door, but he told officials he had been drinking.

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