A home on Knoelke
Drive in Porter was badly damaged in a fire Sunday morning, the Porter Fire
All four occupants
of the one-story ranch home at 2 Knoelke Drive were able to evacuate the
residence safely but the family’s four cats perished in the blaze, Assistant
Fire Chief Dan Branham told the Chesterton Tribune today.
determined that the fire began in a son’s bedroom, after he’d fallen asleep
with a lit candle left on the floor of his closet, Branham said. As near as
the boy can tell, he awoke approximately 30 minutes later to find his room
filled with smoke and visible flames. The son then roused the rest of the
household and--just as the smoke alarms in the home began to activate--the
family succeeded in fleeing the home.
Assisting the PFD
at the scene, under an automatic mutual aid agreement, was the Chesterton
Fire Department, whose firefighters did “a hell of a job on the knock-down,”
Branham said. Also responding, after Branham activated a first-alarm, were
the Burns Harbor and Beverly Shores FDs. At the scene as well were the
Porter and Chesterton police departments, Porter EMS, and the Porter County
Chapter of the American Red Cross.
approximately 1,000 gallons of water to extinguish the blaze and although
they managed to confine the fire itself to the bedroom and just outside in
the hallway, the house sustained significant heat, smoke, and water damage,
Branham said. He estimated total damage at $125,000.
The PFD performed
about an hour of overhaul on the house, then cleared the scene at 6:15 a.m.