Chesterton Tribune



Family dog perishes in house fire in Porter; home destroyed

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The Porter Fire Department is still investigating the cause of a fire which destroyed the home at 800 Park Ave. on Wednesday afternoon.

Although the PFD was initially advised that the home’s occupants were trapped inside the residence, that report proved not to be true and all three succeeded in evacuating, uninjured, to safety. The family’s dog, however, did perish.

Porter Fire Chief Jay Craig told the Chesterton Tribune today that multiple 911 calls were made around 3:15 p.m., one of them by Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg, who observed heavy smoke in the area. A woman passing by at the time also stopped when she saw the smoke to alert the occupants and get them out of the house.

The fire is believed to have started in the attached garage of the one-story home, Craig said, and on their arrival firefighters found it to be fully involved, with Wednesday’s strong gusty winds fanning the blaze. “The wind played a big role in spreading the fire from the garage to the home.”

Assisting at the scene, under mutual aid agreements, were the Chesterton, Burns Harbor, Liberty Township, Beverly Shores, Portage, South Haven, and Washington Township FDs, with the initial attack made overhead by the BHFD’s ladder truck. Firefighters subsequently made entry and pursued the attack from inside the house, Craig said.

Water was supplied by a nearby hydrant and Craig was unable to say how many gallons were used.

Craig added that, despite the high winds, there was little danger of the fire spreading to adjacent homes. “We had a pretty good buffer,” he said. “But I think the house next door sustained some heat damage.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation but it was accidental in nature, Craig said. He estimated total damage to structure and contents at $100,000. “The house is uninhabitable. It will probably need rebuilding.”

The PFD cleared the scene at around 7:30 p.m.



Posted 11/29/2019





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