Fire/Rescue

Sturgis – Fire victim identified

The victim of an early Sunday morning fire has been identified. Travis Williams, age 53, died in the fire. The fire broke out around 1:30 a.m. Sunday at a sub-divided house on West West Street at North Street. The Sturgis Department of Public Safety said first-arriving firefighters noticed heavy smoke and flames in an upstairs apartment. Upon entry, fire officials …

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Indiana judge rejects plea for alleged barn fire accomplice

A judge rejected a plea agreement Monday for a woman accused of helping her boyfriend set fire to several northern Indiana barns, citing her plea deal’s lack of prison time. Sherry Thomas, 33, of Nappanee had reached a plea agreement that includes an admission to one felony count of arson in the string of eight barn burnings. Thomas was charged …

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Man gets 50-year prison sentence for Indiana barn fires

A man who pleaded guilty to torching several barns last year in a northern Indiana county was sentenced Monday to 50 years in prison followed by decades on probation. An Elkhart County judge sentenced Joseph Hershberger to 96 years, but suspended nearly half of that sentence, ordering Hershberger to serve 46 years on probation following his release. He must also pay $80,000 …

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Identified – Man drowns in Three Rivers kayak accident

Three Rivers Police said the agency has released the name of a St. Joseph River drowning victim. Det. Sam Smallcombe said the body of Donovan Forsythe, 26, of Princeton, N.C., was pulled Saturday evening from the river after the kayak he was operating capsized shortly before 6 a.m. Saturday on the St. Joseph River in the area of River Drive …

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Graber Industries destroyed by fire

A longtime business in Constantine Township was destroyed by fire last week. Graber Industries, an RV supply retailer in the 19000 block of Fairchild Road, caught fire around 10 a.m. Friday morning. Smoke from the blaze could be seen from as far away as Colon, Bronson and Middlebury. Multiple buildings were destroyed, though fire departments kept the blaze secured as much …

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Constantine fatal fire – Victims identified

The young victims in last week’s fatal fire in Constantine have been identified by a local news source. Authorities said Liam Lurye, 4, and Lillianna Lurye-Gipson, 3, died after a fire started in their home during the early morning hours April 25. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, though authorities have focused their attention on a wood-burning stove.

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Couple accused in Indiana barn burnings face more charges

A couple accused of torching eight barns last year in a northern Indiana county now face charges alleging that they also set fire to an Amish school in an adjacent county. Joseph Hershberger, 41, and Sherry Thomas, 32, were charged in December in Elkhart County with eight counts of arson for the barn burnings, the first of which occurred in …

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Fundraiser for CPR machines in the county

A fundraising effort is underway to purchase automated CPR machines for all EMS departments in St. Joseph County. Spearheaded by Jeff Brazo, a member of the Burr Oak Community Fire and Rescue Board, the fundraiser goal is $200,000 by Sept. 1. Brazo said automatic CPR machines can aid responders in performing consistent and effective CPR with fewer staff on site …

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House fire in Sherman Township

A Sherman Township residence was destroyed by fire that authorities believe was caused by a lighting strike. The incident occurred Friday morning during a storm that included a fair amount of lightning. A specific location of the residence was not indicated by authorities. Nobody was home at the time of the fire and there were no injuries suffered by members …

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House explodes in Three Rivers

The force of a house explosion in Three Rivers over the weekend was felt throughout the area, according to fire officials. Three Rivers fire chief Jeff Bloomfield said the incident occurred around 8 p.m. Saturday at 521 N. Douglas Ave.  Following the explosion, the residence was on fire, and the fire spread to a neighboring residence. Fire personnel managed to …

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