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LIBERTY TOWNSHIP — The man who died in Sunday's mobile home fire had once tried to swim across Lake Michigan and back.

Chesterton man attempting record-breaking swim

Scott Wolford, 53, and his father, Sam, 86, died of asphyxiation in the fire that ravaged their mobile home.

Scott Wolford attempted to swim Lake Michigan in August 2016, according to a story in The Times. He made it just 18.5 miles, leaving Chicago and headed towards St. Joseph, Michigan, before the weather turned bad and he was pulled from the lake.

According to that story, Scott Wolford earned all-conference honors during his senior year at Chesterton High School and had participated in the Duneland Swim Club.

The cause of the mobile home fire will remain a mystery.

"An investigation revealed the fire started in the living room of the home, although the exact cause has been ruled undetermined due to the extensive damage to the interior and exterior of the home. Foul play is not expected at this time," according to a news release from the Indiana State Fire Marshal's office, which added the men's bodies were found in the west bedroom.

Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said the two men were deprived of oxygen from either smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide poisoning. He added there was no foul play. Both of the men also suffered burns.

The fire was reported about 1 p.m. Sunday at 71 Wilson Court in the Forest Oaks Mobile Home Community just off County Road 900 North. Both of the victims lived at the home.

Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike Wineland said when the first unit arrived, about 50 percent of the home was already engulfed in flames. Firefighters did not enter the structure because the floor had burned away.

Wineland said he called in the Indiana State Fire Marshal's investigators and the Porter County coroner's office. The Porter County Fire Investigation Strike Team was also called in to assist.


Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for more than 38 years, including 23 years with The Times. She covers municipal and school government in Valparaiso and Portage.