Updated: Thursday, 03 Jan 2013, 10:50 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 03 Jan 2013, 8:40 PM EST
BICKNELL, IND. (WTHI) - A fire sends a southern Indiana family fleeing into the freezing snow.
At least 4 fire departments were called to Bicknell after a house burst into flames.
Authorities are still looking for the exact cause into blaze.
Hours after a fire raced through the home the James Robertson family was renting fire fighters were still trying to put out the last of the smoldering flames.
The blaze broke out late in the morning and firefighters say the old house was lost before they could even begin the battle.
"It was already into the attic and through the roof before we got anybody inside the house so it was a lost cause from the start," said Bicknell Fire Chief Tom Houghland.
Fighting the fire in the snow took a toll on firefighters and extra crews were brought in from 3 neighboring departments.
For the 3 members of the Robertson family it was an even tougher wake up call.
Early morning temperatures in Bicknell were in the single digits and the family had been staying together in a single room in the front of the house to stay warm and they just barely managed to escape when the blaze broke out in the rear.
"They woke up, heard the, heard the fire and got everybody up," said Chief Houghland. "He tried to go out the back and he couldn't and they got out the front. The 3 year old didn't even have shoes on when they got it out."
The state fire marshal's office sent an investigator to the scene.
The family had been using an alternative heating source to try and stay warm, but so far there has been no ruling on the cause.
Firefighters call the blaze one of those that once it got going they couldn't stop.
"It just gets into the old houses, gets into the attic and we're done," said Houghland. "We just can't get to it."
Now the house on the corner is a total loss and the people who lived there are looking for a new home.
The Robertson family is receiving temporary assistance from North Knox Social Ministries and the Red Cross.
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