Chesterton Tribune



Barking dog acts as fire alarm; horses, goats saved in barn fire

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Call it the curious--and the extremely fortunate--incident of the dog barking in the night.

Early Sunday morning, a neighbor’s dog became a fire alarm, alerting the owner of a burning barn at 1419 Tremont Road and allowing him to safely evacuate his horses and goats, the Chesterton Fire Department said.

Fire Chief Mike Orlich told the Chesterton Tribune today that, at 5:27 a.m., firefighters were dispatched to the barn after electrical tape use to keep pipes and water fixtures from freezing apparently malfunctioned and started a small fire.

A dog in the neighborhood--reacting either to the smoke itself or to a fire alarm in the barn--began barking, prompting its owner to call his neighbor, who quickly put a fire extinguisher into action, Orlich said. Even so, smoke was showing by the time firefighters arrived but--with the assistance of the Porter, Beverly Shores, Liberty Township, and Pine Township departments--the CFD was able to knock the blaze down.

Around 400 gallons of water were used.

“They were able to save the barn thanks to that neighbor’s dog,” Orlich said. “It’s not often we have a barn that’s repairable after a fire.”

Orlich estimated damage at a couple of thousand dollars.

The CFD cleared the scene at 7:08 a.m.

Later Sunday

Later in the day, at 11:51 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to the residence at 712 Taft St., where a box of plastic toys placed next to a home ignited, after a still burning cigarette discarded into a nearby plastic butt can began to smolder.

On firefighters’ arrival, the small blaze had already been extinguished by the resident, Capt. Rudy Jimenez said.

There was some scorching on the outside of the brick facade, Jimenez added, but no extension.

Damage was limited to the box of toys, which Jimenez described as a “big plastic blob.”

The CFD cleared the scene at 12:07 p.m.

On Saturday

Meanwhile, at 3:48 p.m. Saturday, the CFD extinguished a small brush fire in the front grass of a residence at 15th Street and Park Ave.

Jimenez blamed the fire on a discarded cigarette.

There was no damage and the CFD cleared the scene at 4:07 p.m.



Posted 4/8/2013