LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) – A car has been cremated and a family endangered after a vehicle caught fire in an alley in Lawrence. But the suspicious fire does not yet have a definitive cause.
Lindsey Gruca-Verde was woken up around 3 a.m. on Tuesday by an unusual glow outside her home in The Greens at Winding Ridge neighborhood. In the middle of the night, she got up to investigate.
“So I came and looked ahead just to see what was going on and I could see the car was on fire,” said Gruca-Verde.
Seeing the flames coming out of their family vehicle which was parked right outside their house caused her to rush to wake everyone up.
“Immediately we had to get my husband up, take the fire extinguisher and get our daughter out of the house,” Gruca-Verde said.
Once she was out there was little their extinguisher could do.
“Almost all the windows had been smashed and flames were coming out from the sides of the windows. I actually thought we had a sunroof for a minute because you could see the heat coming out of the top and everything, ”Gruca-Verde said.
The fire seems to have started in the front of the car. All that’s left is part of the metal frame and the ashes of what was their only vehicle.
“My 2 year old daughter’s life was in danger no matter what, just with the car on fire in the driveway, so close to the house and everything,” said Gruca-Verde.
The house is covered with surveillance cameras, but the one closest to the car was unplugged that night. One of their cameras saw the fire, but not before it had been burning for a few minutes.
“Even though we could just get the fire started, whatever started it was to get answers,” Gruca-Verde said.
Investigators are not calling the incident an arson, but neither have they ruled it out. The mystery keeps Gruca-Verde awake at night.
“I have nightmares about what the exploding car looks like because that was my biggest fear that night,” said Gruca-Verde.
Investigators are asking residents of the Winding Ridge neighborhood to check their surveillance cameras to see if they have video from around 3 a.m. on July 20. They are asking you to please send anything you can find to the Lawrence Fire Department.