LAPORTE — A LaPorte man crawled out of a window he broke with his fists, but his two cats didn’t make it out of the fire alive.
Albert Nall, 35, was taken by ambulance Tuesday night and later released from LaPorte Hospital following a fire at a mobile home at LaPorte Village Manufactured Home Community, 1083 E. Ind. 2.
According to police, Nall suffered cuts and lacerations to his arms and hands, along with smoke inhalation, during his escape from the fire.
It was a close call for Nall, who fell asleep in a living room recliner Tuesday after thinking the cigarette butt he discarded was in an ashtray, police said.
However, the cigarette wound up in a trash can full of tissues beside the ashtray, police said.
A neighbor who rushed over found Nall on the ground and bleeding underneath the bathroom window he had just broken out with his hands to escape.
LaPorte Fire Chief Andy Snyder said fire damage from a quick response was contained to the middle of the trailer, but it was likely a total loss from smoke and water damage throughout.
He said Nall was lucky because of how fast flames in mobile homes spread and how hot the flames can quickly become.
"Almost like a tin can, they hold the heat in, and fires spread more quickly that way," Snyder said.
Jeff Thompson, manager of the mobile home park, said even the bathtub was among the items made of plastic that melted.
He said the sheetrock on the walls, instead of paneling, kept the mobile home from being totally consumed.
"That kept it from really burning," he said.