Chesterton Tribune



Woman burned in deck fire in Porter; PFD divers have busy day

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A resident of a Lake Charles Ave. apartment complex was burned on Sunday in a fire on her back deck, the Porter Fire Department said.

Fire Chief Lewis Craig told the Chesterton Tribune today that firefighters were dispatched to the 12-plex at 12:08 p.m. in response to a report of a structure fire. Already on the scene were EMS personnel, who were treating a woman for second-degree burns to her right shoulder, arm, and ankle.

The burns to the ankle were particularly bad, Craig said.

It’s unclear exactly what happened, as the woman was transported to hospital before investigators could speak to her.

But firefighters used 15 to 20 gallons of water to douse the fire on the ground-floor apartment’s back deck. They were also forced to put a hole in the wall to check for extension, Craig said. Total estimated damage: $10,000.

The actual cause of the fire remained undetermined today. Craig said that investigators found a bucket containing ashes and a gasoline can on the deck, a melted plastic cooler in the yard, and a barbecue grill as well, although the latter was not hot. “She may have been smoking,” Craig suggested, then added that he’s hopeful the woman will soon provide investigators with her account of the fire.

Responding to the scene under an automatic aid agreement was the Chesterton Fire Department, with the Liberty Township Volunteer department on standby at its station. The Porter Police Department was also at the scene.

The PFD cleared the scene at 1:04 p.m. No one else was injured and no other apartment units damaged.

Dive Team Call-Outs

In what proved to be a busy Sunday, the PFD’s dive and rescue team was mustered on four separate occasions, but never put a boat in the water.

At 1:48 p.m. a report of two people in the water, after their Hobie cat overturned on Lake Michigan east of Central Ave. beach in Beverly Shores, had not only Porter divers rushing to the scene but a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and boat. The USCG successfully pulled the two from the lake and the PFD cleared the scene at 2:48 p.m.

But was en route to the same scene less than two hours later, at 4:08 p.m., when the same pair of boaters went into the drink again. This time the PFD was disregarded en route.

The PFD was disregarded two other times on Sunday. The first time was at 2:59 p.m., when a woman in the water at Indiana Dunes State Park beach was reported to be in trouble. Lifeguards needed no help in getting her out of the lake.

The second was at 5:02 p.m., when a baby was reported in the water at Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk. Turns out the baby was a muskrat, Craig said.



Posted 6/16/2014