Fatal fire at Prosper Apartments started in kitchen

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - One man lost his life in a Sunday morning apartment fire in South Bend.

The victim has been identified as 24-year-old Yves Harris.

The Prosper Apartment Complex is the same one that used to be called Park Jefferson Apartments, off Jefferson Boulevard north of the River Park neighborhood.

From the outside the damage was hard to see, but fire officials say the first crews to arrive encountered heavy smoke in a hallway and heavy damage to a second-floor apartment.

The fire originated in the kitchen of that damaged apartment, and the victim was unable to escape.

Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading through the attic space.

In past years, the complex has been the scene of large fires that broke through the roof and produced smoke that could be seen for miles. 16 News Now archives document at least five fires in the past 11 years.

After a large fire in January of 2014, an assistant chief commended the owners for recently installing “fire stops” which he described as walls that keep fire from spreading from one building to another through shared attic space.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

One firefighter also suffered unspecified injury.

Capt. Gerard Ellis said there was a fire at the same complex a month ago, and at that time, firefighters scheduled a visit for this Wednesday to discuss fire prevention.