Officials investigating four fires in just over an hour in South Bend

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 3:23 AM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A little bit of everything seemed to go up in flames overnight in South Bend.

In a little over an hour, firefighters responded to calls for a dumpster fire, a grass fire, a shed fire, and a garage fire. All four calls were located between Western Avenue and the railroad tracks to the north.

The dumpster fire was reported just after 11:45 p.m. on Tuesday in the 4300 block of W. Western Avenue. It caused damage to some electrical services.

Dispatch received another call about 20 minutes later for a garage fire behind a vacant home in the 200 block of S. Wellington Street. The fire was put out in 10 minutes, but of all the fires crews responded to overnight, it caused the most damage.

One of the neighbors took video of the flames at their peak.

“I was a nervous wreck,” Fatima Peak told 16 News Now. “And they (firefighters) got here pretty quick, but it seemed like it took them forever because it started getting closer and closer and closer and I was like. “I hope it don’t carry over.” . . . I was worried about like it getting close to a gas meter, but mine is on the other side of the house. So, I was thankful for that.”

A shed fire in the 2500 block of Orange Street was reported to dispatch about 45 minutes after the garage fire on Wellington. Firefighters used approximately 400 gallons of water to hit hot spots.

Meanwhile, several small grass fires surrounding an electrical substation were reported just before 1:05 a.m. at Linden Avenue and Kaley Street. This fire was extinguished using a water can and a small hand line by fire engines.


In a written statement, South Bend Fire Department Spokesperson Suzie Krill said the fires were still under investigation. At this time, Krill says there was no evidence to link one call to another and that the cause of the fires is not currently considered suspicious.

Earlier this month, South Bend Fire Chief Carl Buchanon went public with his concerns about a 38% uptick in structure fires this year compared to last. The chief also expressed concerns about the number of suspicious fires the city was facing.

In the meantime, the South Bend Fire Department wants to remind you that the conditions outside are currently very dry. You’re asked to not burn anything or use fire pits or fireworks, as they can lead to severe fires that can endanger the community.

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