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Portable heater likely cause of fatal fire, officials say

A portable heater used to thaw pipes in the basement of northeast Indiana lake home appears to be the source of a fatal fire, according to a preliminary report issued Thursday.

The fire at 2147 Chapman Lake Drive on Wednesday morning appears to have started in the basement, the Kosciusko County Fire Investigation Team said in a statement.

The identity of the body found inside has not been released by officials.

Sheriff’s deputies and five fire departments were sent to the blaze reported about 10:30 a.m.

When they arrived, the house was engulfed in flames, and the fire’s intensity kept firefighters from entering the home, said Sgt. Chad Hill, a spokesman for the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, for an earlier story.

Two renters living in part of the house had safely escaped the fire and gone to a neighbor’s home to call 911.

The flames spread to a neighboring house to the north at 2141 Chapman Lake Drive.

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