Local News

Fire Destroys Old Factory Building

(La Porte, IN) - Firefighters from multiple agencies worked through the night to gain control of a blaze that destroyed a several hundred-foot-long vacant factory building in La Porte’s downtown area.


Flames once lighting up the sky from the former American Rubber plant at 315 Brighton Street were still visible after sunrise.


Kellyanne Harwood of 414 Brighton Street said she was getting ready for bed when she heard the approaching sirens of numerous emergency responders after midnight.


Harwood said she looked out her window and saw heavy smoke coming from the building and then flames once she walked to the scene.


“I never seen anything like that in my life. They were just blasting the flames with water, and the flames just kept getting higher and coming out of the building,” Harwood said.


Harwood said she also heard what sounded like mild explosions.


Firefighters were also focused on ensuring the flames didn’t spread to a water tower in the middle of the horseshoe-shaped complex in the residential neighborhood along the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks.


Josh Montemayor owns nearby Mickey’s Bar on Tipton Street. He witnessed parts of the fire-ravaged building cave after learning about the blaze from customers walking into his establishment and going to the scene.


“The building started collapsing on the front end. Just now, on the back end, it started collapsing,” Montemayor said.


Montemayor also complimented firefighters for keeping the fire contained to the property.


Ricky Probst of 507 Brighton Street said the size of the fire caught him by surprise after being notified about the blaze on social media.


“There were flames coming out the windows and everything else in there,” Probst said.


Firefighters from La Porte and other surrounding agencies like Center Township, Coolspring Township, and Kankakee Township responded to the fire.


So far, no indications have been given on the cause of the blaze.



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