Chesterton Tribune


Fire destroys Porter home on a bitter night for firefighting

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Porter firefighters had a long cold night of it on Tuesday, after battling a blaze which destroyed the home at 1240 Sunset Ave.

Porter Fire Chief Lewis Craig told the Chesterton Tribune today that, at 7:45 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to the residence in response to a report of a structure fire at a home under construction.

In fact, Craig said, an addition was being built onto an older home and, on his arrival, Craig observed flames shooting out of the second story of the addition, on the west side.

Assisting the PFD—after Craig activated two separate tanker plans—were the Chesterton, Burns Harbor, Liberty Township, Pine Township, Beverly Shores, South Haven, and Union Township fire departments. Also at the scene: Porter hospital EMS and Porter Police.

Around 38,000 gallons of water were needed to extinguish the fire, which Craig said generally refused to go out. “It started on the first floor and went up the wall. It was a stubborn fire. Debris kept falling, we couldn’t get inside ourselves, and just when we thought we had it, it would flare up somewhere else.”

In the end, Craig said, firefighters applied a good coat of Class A foam to “smother it.”

The fire remains under investigation by the Porter County Fire Investigation Strike Team but Craig said that it’s believed to have been accidental.

Craig estimated damage to the structure at $180,000 and to contents at $10,000.

No firefighters were injured but probably a lot of them still feel the chill in their bones. Craig noted that the temperature on Tuesday night was 15 degrees with a wind chill of 1 degree.

“Our tanker froze up,” Craig said. “We had to take it out of service and send it back to the station.”

The PFD finally cleared the scene at 12:34 a.m., and on returning to the station firefighters found that their coats had frozen solid and “stood up by themselves.”



Posted 2.20.2013