Chesterton Tribune

Porter Fire Department investigating house fire on First Street as suspected arson

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The Porter Fire Department is investigating a fire on Monday in a home under construction on First Street as a suspected arson.

Fire Chief Lewis Craig told the Chesterton Tribune today that, at 2:03 a.m., the PFD was dispatched to a reported structure fire in the 400 block of First Street. On their arrival, Craig said, firefighters found five separate fires ignited on the first floor of a home in the early stages of construction, unenclosed and un-walled.

“Two of the fires set went out on their own,” Craig said. “It didn’t really get going.”

Firefighters used water canisters to extinguish the rest.

The fires appeared to have been set with “wood and paper,” Craig said, and one firefighter believes that he smelled diesel fuel immediately on arrival but what, if any, accelerant might have been used is unknown at this point. “It’s under investigation as a suspected arson.”

The Chesterton Fire Department also responded to the scene.

The witness who made the initial 911 call advised that he heard a noise, went to investigate, and saw “someone run into the woods,” Craig said.

The Porter Police Department investigated with the assistance of a K-9 unit provided by the Chesterton Police Department but “they lost the scent in the woods,” Craig added.

Craig estimated damage at around $2,000.

The PFD cleared the scene at 6:36 a.m.



Posted 7/5/2011