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CENTER TOWNSHIP — No one was injured in a house fire Thursday morning near Valparaiso — thanks in part to some help from a good Samaritan.

Two children, three dogs and a guinea pig escaped after a passerby on Ind.  130 saw smoke coming from the garage and knocked on the door to alert them, said Dominic Jenkins, who lives in the home on Kimrich Circle North.

He and the children’s mother were at work when the children called her to tell her what happened, Jenkins said.

“We kind of freaked out that somebody noticed it and started knocking,” he said.

Firefighters have a station just a few miles south on County Road 250 South but were stopped by a train on their way to the house, Valparaiso Fire Department spokesman Robert Schulte said.

Firefighters got the call about 7:30 a.m., he said.

It took the firefighters seven minutes to arrive on the scene after being alerted. The nearest fire hydrant was 1,600 feet away, requiring supply hose from two additional fire apparatus. The fire was struck 15 minutes after the initial arrival, according to a press release from Valparaiso Fire Department. 

“We made an aggressive interior attack,” Schulte said, and stopped the fire at the wall between the kitchen and living room.

The bedrooms and their contents were saved, according to the release.

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Senior Reporter

Senior reporter Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.