Retired Porter Fire
Chief Lewis T. Craig Sr. died unexpectedly on Wednesday evening.
He was 74.
Craig dedicated all
of his 45 years in the fire service to the Porter FD. Under his tenure as
chief, the PFD honed its Dive/Rescue Team into one of the premier water
units in Northwest Indiana, which sees frequent service on Lake Michigan at
Indiana Dunes State Park and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and is often
called to rescues and searches throughout the region.
Craig’s final call
came on his final day on the job, Monday, Jan. 8, when he responded to a
truck fire in the parking lot of Shelton Fireworks. A retirement party was
held in his honor on Friday, Jan. 12, at the Community Building in Hawthorne
“The loss of such a
dedicated public servant will be felt throughout Porter County,” Chesterton
Fire Chief John Jarka told the Chesterton Tribune. “He was well
respected for all his years with the Porter Fire Department.”
Jarka noted that
two of the CFD’s firefighters got their start in the fire service at age 16
in the Town of Porter, after Craig--who was not at that time the
chief--advocated strongly that the town’s minimum-age requirement for cadets
be lowered from 18. “Lewis saw their potential, how gung-ho they were to be
in the fire service. And they’ve made a career out of it.”
Craig also served
for a time as a police officer and the animal warden in Porter, Jarka added.
“Chief Craig will
be greatly missed,” Burns Harbor Fire Chief Bill Arney said. “He was an
important asset in the fire service and dedicated his life to it. We worked
very closely together, as neighboring departments, and I’ll miss the good
times we had on calls. He’ll be deeply missed.”
pending at Edmonds & Evans Funeral Home.