No one was injured Thursday in a fire which severely damaged a home in the
200 block of Papillon Drive in Liberty Township, the Liberty Township
Volunteer Fire Department said.
Deputy Fire Chief Tom Shapen told the Chesterton Tribune today that
firefighters were dispatched shortly after 7 a.m., after the family--getting
ready for school at the time--discovered the blaze. On arrival firefighters
observed flames at the first-floor chimney enclosure behind the home and
from the second floor as well, coming from a play room. Fire was
subsequently found also in the basement ceiling, Shapen said.
Responding to the scene, initially as part of a tanker plan, then on a first
alarm, were the South Haven, Chesterton, Burns Harbor, Union Township,
Washington Township, Portage, and Valparaiso departments. The LTVFD “didn’t
have a lot of people available at the time but we had a great response from
the mutual-aid companies,” Shapen said. “Which is a good thing. That’s what
mutual aid is all about. And we needed the help. It was a pretty significant
fire in a large home.”
Firefighters used around 7,000 gallons to extinguish the blaze, all of the
water actually coming from the tankers which responded to the scene, there
being no need to implement a tanker shuttle, Shapen noted.
“Very extensive overhaul was then necessary, because the fire was on
multiple floors and in the attic,” Shapen said. LTVFD firefighters were on
the scene into the early afternoon, dealing with a “few stubborn spots.”
The cause of the fire remains undetermined, pending the Porter County Fire
Investigation Strike Team’s final report, but Shapen estimated total damage
to structure and contents at $150,000.
Shapen did extend his special gratitude to the Porter County Chapter of the
American Red Cross, for responding to the scene with food and beverages for
firefighters, as well as to the Porter County Highway Department for salting
the road surfaces, after they turned icy in the cold.