Around 9:20 p.m. Sunday, Muncie Fire Department and Delaware County EMS responded to a residential fire at 17th Street and Hoyt Avenue. 

MFD Capt. Paul Sykes said the cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation, however, the residence appeared to be abandoned. 

“Nobody’s at home. It seems to be an abandoned structure. The owner of the house or who has the keys, who’s using this building, is using it for storage," Sykes said. "So nobody is living in this residence at this time. Nobody was hurt, nobody was home at the time.” 

Jennifer Nealis, who lives in the neighborhood, said she and her fiancé, Robert Tracy, were home when the fire started. The couple, who lives two houses down from the structure, said the home has appeared abandoned for at least three years. 

Tracy said an elderly man used to occupy the residence but hasn’t for some time. Tracy, who has lived in the neighborhood for around 40 years, said he and Nealis began to smell smoke around 9:20 p.m.

“When we walked around back, you could see it slowly get bigger and bigger. It spread pretty fast,” Nealis said. 

Nealis said the fire took out power and cable lines, but Sykes didn’t confirm there was a relation to the fire.

This story will be updated. 

Contact Mary Freda with comments at mafreda@bsu.edu or on Twitter @Mary_Freda1.