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WATCH NOW: Apartment building, house destroyed in fire, chief says

WATCH NOW: Apartment building, house destroyed in fire, chief says

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WHEATFIELD — Three households were displaced and two structures were heavily damaged in a large blaze in Wheatfield Tuesday afternoon. 

Crews were called around 4 p.m. to a structure fire near Main Street and Grove Street, said Wheatfield Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mark Ratliff. 

Firefighters arrived to find a two-story apartment building with heavy flames, which quickly spread to a house next door. 

Join Tristan DeFord, Jami Rieck, and Nancy Zakutanksky on a shift working for Superior Ambulance in Merrillville.

Firefighters from several agencies worked at the scene for more than two hours to extinguish the flames. The fire was contained before it could spread to a restaurant that was close to the apartment building. 

There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters, however the apartment building and the upstairs portion of the house was destroyed. 

Three households were displaced and the American Red Cross is assisting any residents in need of help, Ratliff said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 

Wheatfield crews were assisted by firefighters from Keener Township, Rensselaer, Lincoln Township, San Pierre, Kouts, Morgan Township, Boone Grove and more. Other assisting agencies include the Wheatfield Town Marshal, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, Wheatfield EMS and NIPSCO.

"We couldn't have asked for a better crew," Ratliff said. "For it being so many agencies, everyone worked together great. There's a great relationship between Jasper and Porter counties."

Ratliff said the community showed a lot of support to first responders Tuesday by bringing refreshments to keep everyone hydrated. 

"We couldn't thank  the community enough," he said. "We still have fridges full of drinks they brought us, to make sure everyone was drinking enough liquids."


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Night Crime/Breaking News Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts and investigative news. She is a graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology. 219-933-4194,

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