Chesterton Tribune



Fire badly damages Liberty Township home

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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.



Posted 1/10/2014