Firefighters from multiple communities responded to two residential fires Thursday afternoon in Cedar Creek Township and Schererville.
They were reported within an hour of each other.
One of the homes was quickly destroyed by fire despite the best efforts of responding firefighters.
Chuck McBain, the Lake Dalecarlia Fire Department assistant chief, said his was the first of five departments responding to the blaze at the northeast corner of 153rd Avenue and Colfax Street in Cedar Creek Township.
"It appears to be abandoned," McBain said of the house, although propane gas and electric were still hooked up.
He said he had recently seen dumpsters there.
"The cause is undetermined. An investigator will be coming in," McBain said.
In less than an hour, the house was burned to the ground with nothing remaining but charred grass, clothesline poles and a small barn.
Firefighters were able to contain burning grass to the property and away from adjacent farm fields.
Firefighters from Lake Dalecarlia, Cedar Lake, Crown Point, Lowell and Lakes of Four Seasons responded under the automatic call-out system used by local firefighters.
McBain said it's difficult for volunteer departments to have firefighters available during daytime hours, so the automatic system works well. He had only four or five volunteers when he arrived, he said.
About 1:30 p.m., firefighters were called to a blaze at 529 Meadow Ridge Drive in Schererville.
Several dogs in the house were safely rescued by police before fire crews arrived, Schererville Fire Chief Joseph Kruzan said.
Residents weren't at the house when the fire started, Kruzan said.
A corner of the home sustained heavy exterior damage. There was smoke and water damage inside the home, Kruzan said.
The cause of the fire wasn't immediately determined, he said.
Schererville, Lake Hills and St. John firefighters responded to the blaze.