At least 2 dozen displaced after Griffith, Indiana apartment fire: officials

GRIFFITH, Ind. (WLS) -- Flames forced dozens of people from their apartments in Griffith, Indiana early Sunday morning.

The fire broke out around 4:30 a.m. at the Park West Apartments in the 1700 block of Dylane Drive, according to fire officials.

Highland Fire Chief Bill Timmer said more than eight crews responded to the fire. Officials estimated about 60 residents were safely evacuated from at least two dozen units.

Crews spent hours trying to extinguish the flames because hoses couldn't penetrate ceiling material, Timmer said.

"Spreads up through the vertical space, right up through all the plumbing chases and the walls, it's tough to get to," Timmer said. "It just keeps burning because it's in a space you can't get to."

Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames just before 10:00 a.m. and started letting residents back in the building to retrieve some of their belongings.

Timmer said the fire spread from the second to the third floor of the apartment building. The building did not have sprinklers but smoke alarms were working, Timmer said.

A firefighter reportedly twisted his ankle while crews battled the blaze. Officials said no other injuries were reported.

Although the structure was not completely destroyed in the fire, officials said the residence is currently "unlivable" between smoke, fire and water damage.

It was not immediately clear how the fire started, officials said.

This is the second fire in recent months to happen at this apartment complex. In November, a fire broke out overnight that sent at least one person to the hospital.

The investigation is ongoing.
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