VALPARAISO — A man is in critical condition after being rescued from a house on fire earlier this morning.
Two city police officers who arrived at the scene prior to the fire crews were injured while helping a woman leave the home. Both officers were treated for their injuries and released from Porter Regional Hospital.
Valparaiso Fire Department Public Information Officer Robert Schulte said firefighters responded to a house fire at 3804 Victoria Drive at 6:14 a.m. Monday.
When firefighters arrived, they saw flames coming from the windows and roof of the two-story home and it wasn't known if anyone was at home.
A neighbor, who was passing by, discovered the fire and kicked in the door in an attempt to alert any residents, Schulte said.
A woman sleeping in the basement was awakened and left the home before firefighters arrived. The woman said a man was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom.
Firefighters began searching the home and found the man unconscious and not breathing in an upstairs bathroom. He was transported to Porter Regional Hospital in critical condition. There was no additional information on his condition Monday afternoon.
One smoke alarm was found in the home, located on the lower level, and there were no batteries in the detector, Schulte said.
The entire second story of the home was a total loss, Schulte said, adding the preliminary investigation indicate the fire started in the attic, but no cause has yet been determined.
The fire department was assisted on scene by the Valparaiso Police Department, and the fire is currently being investigated by the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Valparaiso Fire Department Investigations Bureau.
The fire department will provide an update as information becomes available. Fire officials are also reminding residents to check their smoke alarms and if there is a need for a smoke alarm to call fire department headquarters at 219-462-8325 and receive one free as part of their "Out to Alarm Valpo" program.