East Chicago man dies in house fire
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent February 14, 2014 3:00PM
Updated: February 15, 2014 2:00AM
EAST CHICAGO — A house fire in the 3900 block of Deal Street has claimed the life of a 59-year-old East Chicago man. The Lake County Coroner’s Office identified him as Howard Readus Jr.
Herbert Cruz, the city’s director of emergency management, said the fire department was called to the scene after 12:30 p.m. Friday and discovered the two-story single-family home on fire.
As many as six others were in the home, and they were all transported to St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago to be checked. None appear to have sustained serious injuries from the blaze.
Readus suffered multiple burns, according to the coroner’s office. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:28 p.m. The specific cause of death will be determined by an autopsy.
East Chicago Deputy Fire Chief Carlos Aburto said firefighters arrived at the scene of a fairly involved fire which was extinguished within minutes of the department’s arrival.
Aburto said it appears the fire started in the lower level basement of the home.
“There was a substantial amount of damage done (to the home) both related to the fire and smoke itself,” he said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.