One killed in Portage fire
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent April 15, 2013 7:20PM
Firefighters carry gear away from the scene of a fatal fire at the intersection of Linton Way St. and Buttercup in Portage Monday April 15, 2013. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 15, 2013 10:39PM
PORTAGE — A Portage man died Monday afternoon after a fire in the kitchen of his home.
Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said Nokomis Musenja, 43, of 5652 Buttercup Ave., died at the scene. He was in a hallway between the kitchen and the garage of the home when firefighters pulled him outside.
“At this time, we don’t have a cause of death to release,” Harris said, adding an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.
According to a news release from the Portage Fire Department, Musenja’s mother stopped to check on her son, who was disabled and used a wheelchair. When she didn’t receive an answer at the door and noticed the smell of smoke from the locked residence, she called 911.
Firefighters received the call at 2:57 p.m. and arrived on the scene within six minutes. Portage Fire Chief Tom Fieffer said when firefighters arrived, they found smoke coming from the single story home’s windows and eaves.
Most of the fire was contained to the kitchen, Fieffer said.
“Our guys went in and thought we were going to make a rescue,” Fieffer said. “When we got the victim out, we realized it was not a rescue.”
No one else was at home at the time of the fire and there were no additional injuries. Firefighters put the fire out within half an hour, and the South Haven Volunteer Fire Department assisted at the scene.
The Portage Fire Department Investigation Team and the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the fire.