Testimony Concludes in Salvage Yard Arson Trial


The fate of a Knox man accused of setting his businesses on fire will soon be in the hands of a jury. The defense in James Campbell’s arson trial rested at 4:16 p.m. Tuesday after calling three witnesses. The first, a former ATF agent turned fire investigation consultant, questioned whether the fire that destroyed Campbell’s Tire Barn, Starke County Recycling and C&C Salvage on U.S. 35 south of Toto Road last March was deliberately set. Mike Vergon has operated a private fire investigation practice in Indianapolis for the past two-and-a-half years. He visited the burned out business on June 23 and Oct. 2 of last year. Vergon testified burn patterns don’t help with origin and cause determinations with damage as extensive as what he saw and said it’s his opinion the cause cannot be determined without good witness corroboration. Continue reading

Investigators Testify in Salvage Yard Arson Trial


The arson trial of a Knox man whose business went up in flames a year ago yesterday will resume Monday morning. A pair of investigators from the state fire marshal’s office testified in James Campbell’s trial yesterday. They both took part in the investigation in the fire that destroyed the buildings Campbell owns at the intersection of U.S. 35 and Toto Road which were home to C&C Salvage, Starke County Recycling and Campbell’s Tire Barn and Shop. Both agree the fires were set and started in two areas of the shop. Continue reading

Fire Safety Advice Stressed after Fire Consumes House in Washington Township

Fire crews remain on the scene of a fire at 2915 S. 800 E. in Washington Township

Fred Sumpter from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office ruled the fire at 2915 S. and 800 E. in Washington Township Friday morning as accidental. A wood burner was the cause of the fire.

Washington Township Assistant Fire Chief, Dave Pearman, said that if you use a wood burning stove, keep it clean and make sure that it is cleaned before the heating season.

Pearman has another piece of fire safety advice.

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Indiana State Fire Marshal Determines Cause in Washington Township House Fire

This home, at 2915 S. 800 E. in Washington Township, was a total loss

The fire at at 2915 S. 800 E. in Washington Township has been ruled accidental.

“The fire started on the west side of the house around a wood burner and that’s what caused the fire,” said Fred Sumpter from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office. “The burner was positioned around the center portion of the house.”

Sumpter said his investigation into the incident is now complete.

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Week in Review for December 6th-10th, 2010

Here is just some of the news that made the news in the Kankakee Valley this week.

Diana Jedynak, 67, died of fire related injuries after her home caught fire early Monday morning in Washington Township. Indiana State Fire Marshal, Fred Sumpter, said the investigation into the cause of the fire was postponed due to the weather conditions and the integrity of the structure.

Northwest Indiana Forum, Inc.

The Northwest Indiana Forum’s Board of Directors have voted to acknowldge the organization’s service territory to extend beyond Lake, Porter, LaPorte and Starke Counties to include Newton, Jasper and Pulaski Counties.

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