SOUTH HAVEN | A man was taken to Porter Regional Hospital on Monday afternoon after a fire consumed his home at 769 Heritage Road.
Russell Simcox was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries after he was dragged from his front door into his front yard by neighbors who responded to the fire.
Pat Lawson was outside her home on LaHonda Drive when she smelled smoke. She banged on her garage door to alert her family inside. The family ran the few doors down to the Simcox residence.
"We could see the smoke. We took off running down there. He was laying at the front door," said Bill Lawson, Pat's son. The Westville man had his son, Chance, call 911.
Bill Lawson said it appeared Simcox opened the front door and collapsed. The Lawsons pulled Simcox into his front yard.
Bill Lawson said Simcox was bleeding from the head and his hair was singed.
Other neighbors, who stood outside watching firefighters from multiple departments said they were concerned with the response time from the South Haven Fire Department. None wanted to be identified.
Fire Chief Bill Lundy said the 911 call came in at 2:20 p.m. The first responding unit, a South Haven ambulance, arrived on scene at 2:32 p.m. Lundy did not have the on-scene arrival time of the first fire engine.
"We are a volunteer fire department," Lundy said. "I arrived shortly after that (arrival of the ambulance), and the flames were shooting through the roof."
In addition to South Haven, firefighters from Union Township, Portage, Porter, Liberty Township and Burns Harbor responded to the first alarm call.
Lundy also called in the Porter County Fire Investigation Strike Team to help investigate the cause of the fire.