MICHIGAN CITY – The kitchen of one apartment was gutted and a second unit suffered water damage when an unattended stove led to a fire in a Wabash Street apartment on July 15.

The Michigan City Fire Department responded about 9:45 p.m. to a report of a structure fire in the 1200 block of Wabash, according to a department report.

Firefighters arrived to find the occupants of the building outside with Michigan City Police officers, who reported the occupants believed the fire was out, though the building was filled with smoke, the report said.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatuses entered the building in spite of "little visibility," and made their way to the second floor unit where the fire started, the report said.

They found a fire still burning on the stove and on the ceiling in the kitchen area of the apartment, the report said.

A fire hose was brought up to the apartment and used to put out the fire, and thermal imaging cameras were used to check for excessive heat or fire trapped behind walls, but none was found, the report said.

Fans were used to clear the building of smoke, and when carbon monoxide readings fell to a safe level, the occupant, a 24-year-old woman, was allowed to retrieve some belongings from the second-floor unit, which sustained extensive damage, according to the report.

The first-floor apartment sustained water damage to the bathroom.

Fire officials believe the apartment's occupant fell asleep while cooking on the stove, and cooking oil ignited and started the fire, the report said.

About 15 firefighters were on the scene, which was cleared just after 11 p.m. following cleanup work. No injuries were reported.

—From staff reports

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