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,”
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.