Elkhart fire burns 12 apartments, shuts down facilities

ELKHART, Ind. – Fire crews responded to reports of a residential fire at the Highlands Apartments complex on Saturday at 2521 Links Drive around 1:45 p.m., according to the Elkhart Fire Department. 

Officials arrived at the complex and reported that there were heavy flames coming from the south side of the three-story wood apartment building. Firefighters further confirmed  that there was fire shifting into the attic space on the west end of the building and two exterior decks were also on fire.

Since Elkhart crews were already dealing with another reported fire on the south side of the city, Cleveland and Osolo Fire Department’s were called in to assist.

Once all stations arrived, officials began searching the apartments for occupants, but none were found in any parts of the building that were on fire.

Three firefighters received minor injuries from a cat while attempting to put it in a cage and remove it from an apartment.

One complex resident was treated by paramedics for exposure to smoke but was released on-scene.

A partial roof collapse on the west half of the building led to electricity, natural gas and water being shut off to the entire building. 

Of the 24 apartments in the building, around 12 were affected by the fire. 

Red Cross workers and Highlands staff worked throughout the day and into the evening to provide temporary residence for those affected by the fire. 

According to the EFD, the fire began on the south side of the building in a third-floor apartment deck area and spread up toward the attic.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time.

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