Overnight Fire At Griffith-Merrillville Airport

Shortly after 11:30 PM, Thursday 3/21/24, a police officer with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department who was on patrol reported he observed a small fire at the Merrillville-Griffith Airport, according to Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr.

Firefighters from 9 area jurisdictions responded to the scene. The flames caused the roof of one of the hangars to collapse. Griffith Deputy Fire Chief Mike Andree reported no injuries early Friday morning. One of those hangers housed some vehicles but the number of aircraft inside the 3 large hangers had not been determined.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating to determine the cause of the fire and any possible damage to aircraft.

By about 3:30 AM today, flames were extinguished, but first responders remained on the scene to watch for any hotspots or areas that may have rekindled. Deputy Chief Andree added that crews battled numerous types of fuel in the blaze alongside a water supply issue with hydrants being so far apart. This is why a Tender Box Alarm was activated to help bring in water supplies.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Unit have a hangar and aircraft at the facility which were not damaged.

“I appreciate all first responders who assisted with securing the area and fighting this fire. Their skill and dedication helped to prevent this situation from becoming worse,” Martinez added.

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