(La Porte County, IN) - A space heater has been identified as the cause of a house fire Wednesday near LaCrosse.
LaCrosse Fire Chief Aaron Rust said an elderly man woke up to see the space heater and his bedroom on fire. The man, who was the only person inside the burning structure, made it outside safely with help from emergency responders as he was coming out of the home.
Rust said he was transported to a hospital for evaluation and treatment of moderate smoke inhalation.
Firefighters from multiple agencies just after 7 a.m. responded to the blaze along U.S. 421 north of County Road 2300 South. Rust said the fire was contained to the southwest side of the roughly 2,500 square foot single story residence.
He said the space heater was centrally located in the bedroom and seemed far enough away from anything in the bedroom that could have ignited from the heat.
What caused the space heater to catch fire was still being looked into, he said.
“That’s still part of the ongoing investigation,” he said.
Rust said firefighters from departments such as Westville, Cass Clinton Township, Morgan Township and Kouts in Porter County, Knox, North Judson and San Pierre in Starke County assisted with the blaze.
He said help from so many agencies was sought primarily to supply enough water in tanker trucks to extinguish the blaze and provide relief to firefighters needing to warm up for a while in a heated trailer brought to the scene because of arctic like temperatures.
“Everybody did a great job,” he said.
Rust said the house suffered moderate damage and is salvageable. Firefighters cleared the scene close to three hours after receiving the call.