LaCrosse Co-Alliance Employees Recovering After Explosion

Boom 28All of the employees injured last month when a LaCrosse grain elevator exploded are all out of the hospital. That’s according to officials with Avon-based Co-Alliance, which owns the elevator. The company operates the elevator where the April 16 explosion occurred. Of the four injured men, two were airlifted immediately to Fort Wayne and a third was taken from Porter Memorial in Valparaiso to Loyola. The fourth was treated in Valpo. Continue reading

Investigators Testify in Salvage Yard Arson Trial

The arson trial of a Knox man whose business went up in flames a year ago yesterday will resume Monday morning. A pair of investigators from the state fire marshal’s office testified in James Campbell’s trial yesterday. They both took part in the investigation in the fire that destroyed the buildings Campbell owns at the intersection of U.S. 35 and Toto Road which were home to C&C Salvage, Starke County Recycling and Campbell’s Tire Barn and Shop. Both agree the fires were set and started in two areas of the shop. Continue reading

Arson Trial Set to Start in Starke Circuit Court

Almost a year after a set fire destroyed a Knox business the owner is scheduled to stand trial in Starke Circuit Court. James Campbell owns C&C Salvage on U.S. 35 just south of Toto Road. It caught fire on March 20. The Bass Lake, Knox-Center Township, Hamlet, Washington Township, Koontz Lake, North Judson-Wayne Township, San Pierre and Monterey Fire Departments all responded to the blaze and spent several hours getting it under control. One firefighter was injured. Black smoke was visible for miles, and a brigade of tanker trucks hauled water to the scene. Continue reading

Indiana Fire Marshal Investigating Walkerton Bar Fire

Red-Hots-fireThe Indiana State Fire Marshal is continuing to investigate the cause of a fire at Red Hots Bar in Walkerton.

Fire Chief Jeff Baker told WKVI News that crews were called to the scene on Nov. 2 at 3:30 a.m. and stayed on the scene on Roosevelt Road almost 12 hours later. Baker said they worked to get the fire under control until 9:29 a.m. and worked to secure the scene until after 2 p.m. ET.

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Fire Marshal Determines Cause of Knox House Fire

An investigator from the state fire marshal's office determined the cause of this Friday, June 14 fire.

An investigator from the state fire marshal’s office determined the cause of this Friday, June 14 fire.

An investigator from the state fire marshal’s office has determined the cause of a Friday afternoon house fire just west of Knox. The home on County Road 200 South just east of 200 East was in flames when firefighters from the Knox-Center Township Fire Department arrived at around 2:30 p.m. Continue reading

Four Departments Respond to Knox House Fire

Thank you to WKVI listener Marcia Lockner for the photo of Sunday's fire on 175 N. at U.S. 35

Thank you to WKVI listener Marcia Lockner for the photo of Sunday’s fire on 175 N. at U.S. 35

An investigator from the state fire marshal’s office is in Starke County to determine the origin and cause of a house fire yesterday north of Knox. The home on 175 North just east of U.S. 35 was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived, according to Knox-Center Township Fire Chief Kenny Pfost. He says they were notified at 2:16 p.m. but were responding to a woods fire at the time. Pfost immediately requested assistance from Hamlet and Washington Township due to their extended arrival time. The Koontz Lake Volunteer Fire Department also provided water and manpower support. No injuries were reported, and the home was believed to be unoccupied. Firefighters were on the scene for three hours.

Tuesday Morning Hamlet Trailer Fire Under Investigation

An investigator from the state fire marshal’s office has been called in to determine the origin and cause of a Tuesday morning fire in the Hamlet trailer court. The Hamlet Fire Department was dispatched to 504 North Starke Street, Lot 10, at 12:34 a.m. Fire Chief Bob Goetz tells WKVI news no injuries were reported. The Koontz Lake Fire Department assisted. Dispatchers advise the fire department left at 2:18 a.m. and turned the scene over to the Hamlet Police Department until the fire marshal arrived.

Toto Road Fire Under Investigation

An investigator with the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office will be in the area on Thursday to determine the cause of a house fire on Toto Road near Fletcher’s Carpet.

According to Knox-Center Township Fire Chief Kenny Pfost, the firefighters extinguished the blaze after battling the fire for three hours at the scene Monday night. Firefighters were called back to the residence for a rekindle at 3:45 a.m. Tuesday. Heavy fire was coming from the home in both instances.

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San Pierre Grain Elevator Fire Ruled Arson

Tuesday’s fire at the San Pierre Grain Elevator on U.S. 421 was deliberately set. That’s the determination of investigators from the state fire marshals office. They spent two days digging through the rubble with assistance from the San Pierre, North Judson, Bass Lake, Washington Township and Medaryville Volunteer Fire Departments. Dispatchers from the Starke County Sheriff’s Office got a call about the fire around 9 Tuesday night. Volunteers from the San Pierre Fire Department arrived a short time later and say the warehouse and silo were both fully engulfed when they showed up. The North Judson, Medaryville and Wheatfield Fire Departments also helped battle the blaze, which took about four hours to contain. A San Pierre Fire Department spokesman declined comment as to where the fire originated, as the incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to call the state’s arson hotline at 1-800-382-4628. A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest or conviction.

Cause of San Pierre Grain Elevator Fire Still Under Investigation

An investigator from the State Fire Marshal’s Office has spent the past two days in San Pierre trying to determine the origin of Tuesday night’s blaze that destroyed the grain elevator on U.S. 421. The San Pierre Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene just after 9 Tuesday night. Fire Chief Mike Korous tells WKVI news the warehouse and silo were both fully engulfed when they arrived. Additional firefighters from North Judson, Medaryville and Wheatfield were called in to help battle the blaze. Firefighters remained on the scene for about four hours. No injuries were reported.

Indiana State Fire Marshal to Investigate House Fire

A representative from the state fire marshal’s office will investigate the cause of a fire that started in the basement in a Starke County home Tuesday afternoon.

Firefighters from Washington Township, Knox-Center Township and Hamlet fire departments were called to 9515 E. 100 N. at about 1:36 p.m. after the residents reported a fire. Firefighters were quick in using strategic fire suppression which left minimal structural damage.

Investigators with the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office will be at the residence at 8 a.m. today to determine what caused the fire.

Union Mills Co-Op Explosion Kills 1, No Other Injuries

An explosion destroyed the upper half of this grain elevator.

An explosion destroyed the upper half of this grain elevator.

The explosion in Union Mills that took the life of one employee is still under investigation and no cause has yet been determined. According to LaPorte County Chief Deputy Jim Sosinski, the sheriff’s office received a call of an explosion at the Union Mills Co-Op on 800 South around 1:27 p.m., and upon their arrival, no flames were found but there was extensive damage to a grain elevator caused by the explosion. The explosion killed 67-year-old James Swank of Union Mills.

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Arson Suspected in Winamac House Fire

The Winamac Fire Department and the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office are investigating an arson case at a home at 1172 W. 350 S. in the Winamac area.

Fire Chief Bill Weaver stated that the firefighters have been called to that abandoned residence four times. The Indiana State Fire Marshal was called to the scene after the fire started the second time and all accidental causes have been ruled out.

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No Word Yet on Cause of Bass Lake Sandbar Fire

No word has been released on the cause of the fire at the Bass Lake Sandbar.

There is still no official word on the cause of the fire at the Sandbar at Bass Lake.

Bass Lake Fire Chief Les Jensen is awaiting a report from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office that releases pertinent information concerning the investigation into the early morning fire that destroyed the business on Sunday, Dec. 2.

Jensen has not released a preliminary cause of the fire as it remains under investigation with the Indiana State Fire Marshal.

Five fire departments battled the blaze at the popular Starke County establishment and it took three hours to extinguish the fire.

Firefighters Called to House Fire in North Judson

The North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Department was called to a house fire at 112 Lane Street Friday evening. Fire Chief Joe Leszek said the fire occurred at a multiple family dwelling and the structure sustained damage.

No preliminary cause of the fire has been given and it remains under investigation with the State Fire Marshal’s Office. More information on the fire will be released as the investigation unfolds.

100-Year-Old Structure Destroyed by Fire in the Bass Lake Area

Three fire departments battled a house fire at 200 E. and 500 S. in the Bass Lake area yesterday afternoon.

Firefighters from the Bass Lake, Knox-Center Township and North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Departments responded to the location where a 100-year old structure was fully engulfed in flames before crews arrived on scene. No cause has been released yet. A representative from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office was scheduled to meet with Bass Lake fire officials to determine a cause of the fire.

Arson Suspected in Garage and House Fire in Knox

An arson incident is being investigated in Knox.

Knox-Center Township Fire Department firefighters were called to a garage fire at 0020 N. 500 E. in Knox on Thursday, November 22nd. Firefighters discovered a fire along the back wall of the garage and it was quickly extinguished. The fire was ruled electrical/accidental. Firefighters were called to the same residence the next day and extinguished another fire that was located on the back wall of the garage near the location of the previous fire.

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Arson Suspected in Apartment Fire in Winamac

The Winamac Fire Department was called to two fires Monday.

Winamac Fire Chief Bill Weaver said that firefighters were called to an apartment fire at 303 N. Market Street at about 1:30 p.m. ET. They were able to get to the scene quickly and extinguish that fire. Weaver said that an investigator from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office arrived on scene and determined that the fire started in the closet in a bedroom and that it was deliberately set. No arrests have been made yet in this arson case and the fire remains under investigation. If you have any information about this fire, call the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department at (574) 946-6655.

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Former Starke County Resident Found Dead in House Fire in Elkhart County

Dewey Smith, Jr.'s mobile home was a complete loss. Photo courtesy of Goshen News

Dewey Smith, Jr., 40, a 1989 Knox High School graduate, was found dead inside a burning mobile home just south of New Paris, in Elkhart County on Friday, November 25th.  The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department was able to identify Smith’s body today.  An autopsy was scheduled for today to determine the cause of death.

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