Neighbor on house fire: ‘It’s just kind of unbelievable’

This house on 3504 Clermont Avenue is condemned after a fire.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The day after a fatal house fire at 3405 Clermont Avenue, neighbors are remembering the woman who didn’t make it out. First responders found 42-year-old Sherry Glaspie dead inside the home in a southeast side neighborhood, but the coroner doesn’t know exactly how she died yet.

Glaspie’s cause and manner of death are still pending. Both are under investigation, but the coroner’s office says there’s no evidence of foul play. As for what caused the fire, that’s still unclear as well.

Neighbors said they didn’t know Sherry Glaspie very well, with some just meeting her once before. Despite those limited interactions, her death still hits the community hard. The caution tape lining Glaspie’s house may be keeping others away now, but it’s the times she crossed that border that neighbors remember.

“Yeah, nice lady, you know,” neighbor Maria Teresa Tarango said.

Maria Teresa Tarango lives across the street. Like any good neighbor, she occasionally let Glaspie borrow a ladder or invited her to church events. Tarango was at work when the fire started, but got a text from her daughter.

“Don’t get scared, she said, but the house across the street is on fire she said. There’s lots of fire trucks and police cars out here,” Tarango said.

Next door neighbors Earnestine and Herbert Almo met Glaspie once when they moved in last July.

“She worked the third shift,” Herbert Almo said.

Their grandchildren liked to play in the yards together during the summer. With the houses sitting just feet apart from one another, the Almos could smell the smoke coming in their bedroom window last night. Earnestine thought it could be from her granddaughters in the kitchen.

“And I said y’all sure you ain’t cooking nothing, and they said no again,” Earnestine Almo said.

That’s when the girls heard the firetrucks and rushed to the front door.

“She called my name twice, and I said what you want girl. Your neighbor’s house is on fire. I said what! She said your neighbor’s house is on fire.That’s when I jumped up,” Earnestine said.

It only took 13 minutes to control the fire, but when first responders stayed on scene for far longer, the Herberts knew something was wrong.

“I was praying to the Lord that nobody was in that house, especially the little kids or something like that,” Earnestine said.

The loss has left neighbors shocked and shaken up.

“It’s just kind of unbelievable that that would happen, you know. It’s sad, I mean family members were crying last night and it was very sad, yeah,” Tarango said.

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