An Ogden Dunes
resident was arrested Saturday on a charge of operating while intoxicated
after he toppled a NIPSCO pole at the intersection of East Porter Ave. and
Dickinson Road, Chesterton Police said.
The resulting power
outage in turn activated a fire alarm at the Franciscan Health Fitness
Center on Michael Drive, and caused a generator to start running--and
smoking--at the Frontier building on South Calumet Road, the Chesterton Fire
police, at 5:17 p.m. Mike Falk, 59, of 61 Ski Hill Road, was westbound on
East Porter Ave. and, he advised, “not paying attention,” when he left the
roadway to the right and struck a NIPSCO pole, shearing it in half. Falk’s
2019 Dodge Durango then came to rest in a ditch.
medical treatment at the scene--showed signs of intoxication and
subsequently registered a blood alcohol content of .19 percent on a blood
draw, police said. Motorists in Indiana are considered legally intoxicated
when they score a B.A.C. of .08 percent or higher. Falk was transported to
Porter County Jail.
CFD Engine 515
responded to the scene, where a non-arcing power line was down in the
roadway. Firefighters maintained the scene until a NIPSCO crew “arrived
minutes later” to shut off the power and begin repairs. The Chesterton
Street Department also responded to erect barricades and close the road.
Fire Chief John
Jarka told the Chesterton Tribune this morning that “a large section
of the town” was affected by the power outage, including the Franciscan
Health Fitness Center, 810 Michael Drive, where a fire alarm was activated
at 5:20 p.m. Firefighters, accompanied by the keyholder, inspected the
facility to ensure all was in order and, after determining that the fire
alarm panel had re-set itself, cleared the scene at 5:32 p.m.
The outage also
caused a generator at the Frontier building, 505 S. Calumet Road, to start
running. CFD Engine 501 responded at 5:25 p.m. after a passerby reported
“more smoke than usual coming out of a smokestack on the building,” the CFD
said. Firefighters checked the scene, found all fine, and cleared at 5:29