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fatal house fire

Thursday, December 14, 2017 16:15 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News



A hardware store owner died Thursday morning in a house fire outside LaPorte.

Charles Mares was pulled from his burning house at 111 Maple Dr. and placed into an ambulance where efforts to resuscitate him failed.

''He's gone. He didn't make it,'' said his brother, George Mares.

Firefighters responded about 7 a.m. to the two story home along Pine Lake and were met by flames and heavy smoke.

According to LaPorte County Police, the man was found unconscious about 10 feet from a doorway by firefighters.

He lived alone, family members said.

The victim was owner of Charles Mares Hardware at 123 Michigan St. in downtown

New Carlisle.

George said his brother after losing his retail job in the Chicago area bought the store in 2013.

It wasn't a totally new venture for him because their parents once owned a hardware store in the Chicago area where they grew up, Mares said.

''He had been laid off from Sears. He was kind of down in the dumps and I thought this would be a good idea to get him active again,'' said Mares, who still resides in the Chicago area.

The dwelling until recent years was a vacation home for the family for decades.

Paulette Mares of LaPorte said she made the short drive from her home to check on her uncle after learning about the fire.

She was having trouble keeping her emotions in check contacting other family members while smoke kept billowing from the structure.

''He was a really good guy and I loved him. He was an awesome person,'' she said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

''Right now, it's just too early to tell,'' said LaPorte County Sheriff John Boyd.

The Center Township Fire Department along with a fire investigator from the LaPorte County

Sheriff's Office will be assist in the investigation to be headed up by the Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office because of a death being involved in the case, Boyd said.
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