Fire—possibly caused by a lightning strike—destroyed an electrical
contractor’s workshop at 165 W. U.S. Highway 6 this morning, the Liberty
Township Volunteer Fire Department said.
Chief Tom Shapen told the Chesterton Tribune today that neighbors
reported the fire at 4:05 a.m., after “seeing and hearing a very close
block-constructed building burned “very, very quickly,” Shapen said, and was
completely involved on firefighters’ arrival. “The roof had fallen in when
we pulled up.”
Assisting at the
scene were the Chesterton and South Haven fire departments, each of which
provided an engine and manpower. Also responding: Porter EMS. “They were a
great help as always,” Shapen said.
No one was
injured in the blaze.
20,000 gallons of water were used to extinguish the fire, provided by a
hydrant on the south side of U.S. 6. Shapen noted that it was necessary to
close U.S. 6—“for just less than two hours”—to protect the hoses strung
across the roadway. The Porter County Sheriff’s Police was on the scene to
itself was approximately 30’ by 30’, Shapen said, and was used to store the
contractor’s tools, supplies, and vehicles. There were the usual assortment
of oils and solvents and also insulated wire and possibly oxygen acetylene
“It’s a definite
probability that it was lightning,” Shapen said. “I can’t say with certainty
that lightning was the cause. But we did have a lot of it.”
get wet,” Shapen added. “But the downpour helped us. It was no fun to work
in. But it helped us.”
cleared the scene at 8:47 p.m.
As it happens,
the fire this morning was the seventh call to which the LTVFD responded over
night. Others included downed wires, a minor accident, and a 90-minute call
at the new Porter Regional Hospital work site, which was experiencing an
alarm problem, Shapen said.