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