At least 24 apartments affected by fire at Arbor Lakes

BEN MIKESELL | THE GOSHEN NEWSThe heavily damaged apartment building at the Arbor Lakes complex in Concord Township is shown in this picture taken Wednesday.

ELKHART — For the second night in a row, firefighters from around Elkhart County battled a large fire in Concord Township.

A building that houses 36 apartments along Breakwater Drive at Arbor Lakes Apartments caught fire at about 10 p.m. Concord Township firefighters responded to the scene and called in several other departments to assist them. Concord Fire Chief Richard Rochford said, “We probably had anywhere from 60 to 75 firefighters that were on the ground working alongside us. We had a good representation of many departments.”

The three-story building consists of three units with six apartments per unit, he said. Of those, Rochford believes 24 were damaged or affected. American Cross officials said it could be as much as 35.

It took firefighters until about midnight to bring the fire under control, Rochford said. The last crews left at about 4:30 Wednesday morning. Now investigators with the state fire marshal’s office are helping to investigate the cause and origin of the fire.

There were no injuries. And the residents have been relocated to the homes of family and friends, plus the Red Cross is assisting, he said.

American Red Cross of Northern Indiana Executive Director Kristin Marlow-Kellemen said about 60 people were affected and displaced by the fire. Some of the residents had medical needs and were required to go to a hotel and some are staying with family and friends. “A vast number of folks were placed in another apartment in the complex until they could return to their own,” she said.

As of Wednesday night, all of the displaced residents had a place to stay. “We’re going to reevaluate tomorrow as the fire department clears the units and says that it’s safe to return,” Marlow Kellemen said.

Once the Red Cross has a clearer picture, they will be able to help those who cannot return to their home with more recovery assistance, she said.

The state fire marshal's office is also aiding in the investigation of a fire Monday night at Recycled/New Pallets Inc., 24478 C.R. 45. A building at the wood pallet business was destroyed when a fire erupted there at about 6 p.m. Ten departments responded to that fire.

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