Chesterton Tribune



Two dead in fire in Liberty Township mobile home

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UPDATE: 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.

Although each 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.

Meanwhile, the 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 attack.

Heavy smoke from the fire was visible from more than two miles away, along C.R. 700N.

Posted 4/3/2018


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) is reporting.

The victims were 53 year old Scott Wolford and 86 year old Sam Wolford, Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris told the Chesterton Tribune today.

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.

Firefighters—assisted by 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 and flames.”

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 morning.

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.

As 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.


Posted 4/2/2018




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