Chesterton Tribune

Space heater blamed for fatal truck fire in Valpo

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The fire which killed a homeless Valparaiso man on April 15 was caused by the ignition of combustibles by a portable space heater, the Valparaiso Fire Department has determined.

Assistant Fire Chief Dan Lamb told the Chesterton Tribune today that Wayne Trinosky, 58—who had been living in a box delivery truck parked in the lot of the Lembke Glass Company at 151 Brown St.—had run an electrical extension cord to the box truck to power a small space heater.

“It was too close to combustibles,” Lamb said, “maybe clothing or a blanket. A fire started, he was unaware of it, then he became trapped. It was just awful.”

“There was nothing suspicious at all about the fire,” Lamb added.

Valparaiso Police officers on patrol observed the truck burning at 2:20 a.m.—VPD said that the truck was “fully engulfed by fire”—and subsequently found Trinosky on the ground next to the truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said that Trinosky had sustained burns to approximately 90 percent of his body.



Posted 4/21/2011