The victims of Sunday’s fatal fire in a Liberty Township mobile
home have been identified, Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris is reporting.
They are Sam
Wolford, 86; and his son, Scott Wolford, 53.
sustained thermal injuries, Harris has determined the cause of death for
both to be asphyxiation. Autopsies were performed on Monday.
The Wolfords were
found near the back door of the home, located at 71 Wilson Court in the
Forest Oaks Mobile Home Community, and are believed to have been attempting
to escape the residence when they succumbed.
State Fire Marshal’s Office has not yet completed its report on the fire.
Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Chief Brian Duncan told the Chesterton
Tribune today that the cause of the fire remains undetermined
but--according to “early indications”--is thought to have been accidental,
pending the results of the State Fire Marshal’s investigation.
The LTVFD responded
to the fire at 1 p.m. Sunday, as did all of the Tri-Towns’ fire departments,
along with the South Haven, Portage, and Union Township FDs. Firefighers
were unable to enter the mobile home, whose floor was collapsing on their
arrival, but they succeeded in quickly dousing the blaze with an external
Heavy smoke from
the fire was visible from more than two miles away, along C.R. 700N.
The bodies of two men were found
inside a Liberty Township mobile home on Sunday, following a blaze which
engulfed the residence, the Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department (LTVFD)
The victims were 53 year old Scott Wolford and 86 year old
Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris
According to a statement released
by the LTVFD late on Sunday, at 1 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to 71
Wilson Court in the Forest Oaks Mobile Home Community, off C.R. 900N between
C.R. 200W and C.R. 150W, with heavy smoke was visible from C.R. 700N, more
than two miles away.
Chesterton, Porter, Burns Harbor, South Haven, Portage, and Union Township
FDs—were “unable to deploy an interior attack” on the fire or otherwise gain
entry, “as the floor was giving out” and the “structural integrity of the
residence at the time” was doubtful.
Nevertheless, “fire crews were able
to quickly extinguish the fire from the exterior with extensive overhaul
operations,” LTVFD said.
At the time of initial dispatch, it
was unknown whether the residence was occupied but firefighters subsequently
learned that two family members were inside at the time. The two were later
found in the rear of the residence, near a back door, and appeared to have
been attempting to exit the mobile home when they succumbed to “heavy smoke
The cause of the fire has not been
determined, LTVFD said. LTVFD Assistant Fire Chief Michael Wineland has
called for the assistance of the Porter County Fire Investigation Strike
Team and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Coroner Harris said that both
victims sustained thermal injuries but the cause and manner of death are
pending the results of the investigation. Autopsies were scheduled for this
Also responding to the scene on
Sunday were the Porter County Sheriff’s Police and Porter EMS, while the
Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department provided additional coverage
at the LTVFD station.
a safety reminder, we ask all bystanders at any fire scene to please allow
for safe distances when emergency crews are on scene and ask that video
recording of any scene be done in a manner that does not intrude on those
affected by tragedy,” LTVFD said.