Local News

Cause of House Fire Ruled Electrical

(La Porte County, IN) - The cause of a fire that destroyed a house outside La Porte remains under investigation.


Scipio Township Fire Chief Eric Fenstermaker said the fire started in the attached garage and was electrical in nature.


However, investigators have not yet determined exactly where the fire started or how because of the extensive damage.


“Due to the total destruction of the garage, I cannot pinpoint it to a single source,” Fenstermaker said.


The residence was also considered a total loss.


Homeowners Barry and Shirley Pontius were unaware of the late Friday morning fire until a man began pounding on their door at 302 W. 250 South. They safely escaped but were fortunate because of how fast the fire spread.


Fenstermaker said the fire spread rapidly because of combustibles like gasoline inside the garage and strong northerly winds. The flames also caught a pick-up truck parked outside the attached garage on fire.


Pontius said she was doing paperwork for her husband’s business, “Barry’s Carts,” when they were alerted to the fire. Her husband customizes and restores golf carts.


Fenstermaker said there were two golf carts, one running on gasoline and the other powered by electricity, inside the garage. However, he said whether the electric golf cart was plugged into a battery charger could not be verified.

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