Local News

Fire Heavily Damages Old Farm House

(La Porte County, IN) - A late Monday morning fire heavily damaged a farmhouse built about a century and a half ago outside LaPorte.


Carla Marhanka said she and her husband, Mitch, lived in the two story home built around 1870 for more than 30-years.


Their two daughters were also raised at the residence.


Marhanka said nobody was home when the fire erupted.


“We were all at work,” she said.


Marhanka said she was in her 3rd grade classroom teaching at nearby Kingsbury Elementary School when notified about the blaze.  Flames were showing on both levels of the structure when firefighters were called to the home about 11 a.m. in the area of 400 South and 350 West.


Marhanka said learning about the fire then seeing it after rushing home gave her a sick feeling in her stomach.


“Nauseous,” she said.


Marhanka said she had a lot of old furniture inside the home and some of it belonged to her mother.


Most of all, she was grieving the possible loss of family pictures, including photos of her daughters when they were babies and during their weddings.


“That, to me, is the worst thing.  Everything we’ve taken for the last 39 years is in there,” she said.


The Scipio Township Volunteer Fire Department was assisted by volunteer firefighters from Kingsbury, Noble Township and Westville in putting out the blaze.


Scipio Township Fire Chief Eric Fenstermaker said it’ll be up to the couple’s insurance company to decide whether the home is a total loss.


He didn’t reveal, specifically, what items inside the home were destroyed but said much of the contents will be salvageable.


Fenstermaker said the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting in the investigation to try and determine the cause of the fire.


Foul play is not suspected, he said.


Firefighters from Kingsbury, Noble Township and Westville assisted in putting out the flames. Fenstermaker said there were no injuries.

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