LaPorte County, IN – A woman is dead after fire destroyed the two-story Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Dunes Lodge # 75 building early Thursday morning, Jan. 4.
The Michigan City Fire Department (MCFD) along with Coolspring Township Fire Department responded about 3:30 a.m. to a report of a structure fire at 401 Johnson Road in Trail Creek, according to a press release posted on the MCFD’s Facebook page. Additional fire departments were requested to assist by mutual aid.
Upon arrival, firefighters found one occupant who had escaped from an upstairs apartment through a second story window. The first occupant advised firefighters that a second occupant was still inside the apartment.
Two firefighters were able to gain access through a second story window and remove the second occupant, Vicky Cummings. She was transported to a local hospital where she died.
Cummings had been a bartender at the lodge for the past 10 years.
Michigan City Fire Chief Mick Pawlik said quick-thinking 911 dispatchers realized the severity of the fire and called for mutual aid without it needing to be requested by Coolspring. He said that played a pivotal role in rescuing the woman, according to WSBT.
Family members identified the two occupants as Bob Ream and Vickie Cummings to WSBT reporter Cassidy Williams, according to WSBT.
Water to fight the fire had to be shuttled in by tankers due to frozen pipes.
One Coolspring firefighter was treated for injuries sustained from slipping on the icy conditions outside of the fire.
Investigators are working to determine the cause of the blaze, which is unknown at this time. The FOP building is considered a total loss.