Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor cat rescue home damaged in fire most cats believed safe

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A Burns Harbor home whose residents were operating a cat rescue sustained significant damage in a fire on Monday.

None of the 25-plus cats in the home is believed to have perished but an occupant was treated for smoke inhalation and a firefighter for cat bite.

Fire Chief Bill Arney told the Chesterton Tribune today that, at 9:48 p.m., the BHFD responded to a report of a fire in a one-story single-family residence in the 1100 block of Salt Creek Road, after an apparent electrical malfunction in a dryer ignited clothing in the laundry room.

The fire quickly extended into the adjacent living room, Arney said, prompting the BHFD to activate a box alarm. Responding to the alarm were the Chesterton, Porter, Ogden Dunes, and Portage FDs.

Firefighters, using approximately 500 gallons of hydrant water, succeeded in containing the blaze to the living room and then extinguishing it, but were subsequently forced to perform significant overhaul in both the laundry and living rooms to ensure that the fire hadn’t extended into the walls or attic.

One of the residents exited the home safely, Arney said. The other, howeverŃa 38-year-old maleŃsustained smoke inhalation while evacuating cats, and later injured his ankle after stepping in a hole in the yard while searching for loose cats in the dark.

A firefighter, meanwhile, was transported after being bitten by a cat, merely as a precaution, Arney said, inasmuch as there were no vaccination records available for the cat.

Firefighters helped to gather the cats and to the best of Arney’s knowledge only one was still missing when the BHFD cleared the scene at 12:20 a.m.

Although the BHFD does have oxygen masks fitted for pets, it wasn’t necessary to use them on Monday, Arney noted.

Arney preliminarily estimated total damage to structure and contents at $50,000.


Posted 5/16/2017




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