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Part of Lincolnway shut down as Valparaiso firefighters battle blaze at commercial building

Firefighters battle a blaze in Valparaiso Monday morning.

Bob Kasarda, The Times

VALPARAISO — The owner of the local diesel repair company that burned to the ground Monday morning has hired an environmental contractor to clean up contamination in the wake of the blaze, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

"The contractor will oversee the full cleanup which may include taking some top soil and replacing it depending on the amount of contamination that occurred," IDEM Public Information Officer Barry Sneed said.

The company in question, 24/7 Repair Services, occupied part of the destroyed building at 1552 Lincolnway.

An employee of the business discovered smoke in an office area shortly before 6 a.m. and firefighters arrived to find flames burning through the roof of the large metal building, said Robert Schulte, public information officer at the Valparaiso Fire Department.

Following the efforts of firefighters, state and local environmental officials tested water north of the site for contaminates such as diesel fuel, battery acid and oil, he said. Contamination was discovered.

The building also housed a window company that used the site for storage, Schulte said.

The loss is valued at $10 million for the building and its contents, he said.

No one was injured, but the blaze destroyed the building and caused heat damage to boats stored in a building immediately to the west.

The fire is being investigated by the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office and the Valparaiso Fire Department, Schulte said. Foul play is not suspected.


Porter/LaPorte county reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.