20 families displaced in fire at Merrillville apartment complex
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent May 24, 2014 9:40PM
Updated: June 26, 2014 6:55AM
MERRILLVILLE — An apartment complex hit by fire in 2011 and high winds in 2012 suffered more damage in a fire Saturday.
No one was injured in the 24-unit building at 1821 W. 56th St., in the Hickory Ridge apartment complex, Merrillville Fire Chief Ed Yerga said. Two apartments were damaged by the fire, which started on the third floor and spread across the building’s attic.
Two of the apartments were damaged by the fire, while the other units suffered water damage. Yerga said 20 of the apartments were occupied; those families have been displaced.
The fire’s cause is still under investigation, and damage to the roof is estimated at $200,000, Yerga said.
In July 2012, 48 families living at 1718 E. 55th Ave. were evacuated after heavy winds, estimated between 75 and 90 mph by the National Weather Service, blew the roof off one building and a portion of the roof off another at Hickory Ridge. Another fire in September 2011 caused more than $1 million in damage and sent a firefighter to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
That fire was thought to be an accident that started near a third-floor ceiling fan.
On Saturday, 30 minutes after the first fire was reported, firefighters responded to a basement fire in the 700 block of 61st Avenue, where a firefighter fell through the floor but suffered only minor injuries, Yerga said.