(La Porte, IN) - The 4th of July holiday always puts firefighters on pins and needles. But according to La Porte Fire Chief Andy Snyder, this weekend was unusually uneventful. “It had been such quiet weekend,” Snyder said, “more quiet than I can remember for years. We only ran three or four calls throughout the day, and that is unheard of for a 4th of July weekend.”
However, that all changed Tuesday.
The heroics started with a call to American Licorice a little after noon. According to Snyder, a worker there got her arm caught in a machine. She was freed by first responders. He says the injuries were substantial but not life-threatening.
About an hour later, fire crews were dispatched to a house fire at 106 Wardner Street. Firefighters got there just in time, according to Chief Snyder. “The rest of the crews did go to the structure fire, which was well-involved by the time our personnel arrived on-scene,” he said. “They were able to meet a woman exiting the structure. She did exhibit some signs of burns. We were able to get her to an ambulance very quickly. They were able to examine her and get her to a hospital.”
Moments later an auto accident occurred at Pine Lake Avenue and East Shore Parkway, just up the street from the fire. Crews responded simultaneously. Snyder said, like the fire, the wreck was bad, but could have been worse. “It was a three-vehicle accident,” he said, “significant damage to the vehicles. One person had to be extricated. She did have to be transported to the hospital.” Snyder did not know the victim’s condition. After rescuing her, his first responders had to get back to the house fire.
The fire on Wardner Street was brought under control in about 20 minutes. The burn victim was treated at the hospital and released. Her daughter escaped without injuries. Two other residents, both teenagers, were not home at the time. Snyder said fire department officials helped the family coordinate with the American Red Cross to find further assistance.
To top off a busy—and hot— day, firefighters responded to a gas leak later in the afternoon at the intersection of Linwood Avenue and Harrison Street. The leak was reportedly caused by digging for broadband installation. Firefighters stayed on site while NIPSCO crews fixed the problem.
Saving lives is hard work, even harder with a heat index in the triple digits. But it’s all in a day’s work for local first responders. “We love boring days, because that means people aren’t getting hurt or in trouble,” said Chief Snyder. Most days are anything but boring. Tuesday was proof of that.