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ODGEN DUNES, Ind. (CBS) – A brush and forest fire in the Northwest Indiana lakefront community of Ogden Dunes burned out of control Saturday for hours, causing the temporary evacuations of some homes.
Firefighters who responded to a 2:20 p.m. emergency call of a fire along U.S. 12 encountered 40-foot flames, Porter County Sheriff Department Sgt. Larry LaFlower said. Departments from the region combined forces, and the flames were under control by 6 p.m. Chicago time. The fire was in an undeveloped area with trees and brush.
Fire officials ordered the evacuations of homes on Diana Court because flames were moving closer.
“We were terrified,” Anne Lauritzen, one of the residents who was temporarily displaced, told CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov.
Strong winds were blamed for fanning the flames, but the winds died down by early evening.
Capt. Luke Brennan of the Ogden Dunes Volunteer Fire Department says a train traveling along the rural tracks may have cast off sparks that ignited the brush.
“The conditions today were very ripe for a wild land fire,” he said.