Cause of Highland apartment fire still unknown
By Carole Carlson email@example.com/302-0949 August 1, 2014 7:00PM
Insurance, fire, police and property management meet outside a building at Porte De Leau Condos in Highland on August 1, 2014. | Jim Karczewski/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 3, 2014 6:09AM
HIGHLAND — It could take as long as two weeks for investigators to pinpoint the cause of a fire Thursday at the Porte De L’eau Apartments.
Fire Chief Bill Timmer said on Friday that investigators from the Indiana Fire Marshal’s Office will examine the scene on Monday.
He said the complex, off 45th Street just east of the town’s border with Munster, was inspected recently and had no obvious code deficiencies.
“If the building was built today, it would be required to have a sprinkling system,” Timmer said.
The fire, which began about 4 p.m. Thursday, displaced residents throughout the 24-unit building at 2045 Porte De L’eau Court. Timmer did not know how many residents were affected, but said the entire building had been evacuated and is sealed off. Even pets have been rescued and safely removed, he said.
The American Red Cross is helping residents who need emergency assistance.
The building’s third floor collapsed, but Timmer said no one was injured. One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion.
“Everybody was evacuated, police and citizens shooed everybody out quickly and we created a safety barrier,” he said.
Highland received mutual aid from 10 to 11 neighboring fire departments, Timmer said.
The building featured a mansard roof design, which Timmer said tends to allow fire to spread quickly.