Up In Flames

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Firefighters battle the flames at Stan’s Auto Salvage in Schererville on Jan. 19. Seven fire departments from around the Lake County area helped Schererville firefighters put out the large flames.

Stephanie O'Drobinak

A large fire at Stan’s Auto Salvage in Schererville emitted a massive amount of black smoke into the sky on the night of Jan. 19. Local firefighters were called to the yard at 7:20 p.m. from several reports of a fire.

“I didn’t hear anything [from the fire], but people were talking about hearing explosions. It was pretty scary. The smoke was pitch black and the redness from the flames lit the sky around it. I could hear news helicopters all night, but it was kind of scary to think that it was that close to my house,” Jace Hirosky (12) said.

Firefighters battled the flames for more than eight hours. The salvage yard was filled with more than 3,000 different cars stacked on top of each other. When the fire department arrived, they found all the cars consumed in flames.

“It was honestly [like] something out of a movie, and since no one got hurt, I got to say it was pretty awesome,” Max Barnhart (12) said.

Stan’s Auto Salvage is located at 7967 Wicker Ave in Schererville.  While firefighters from all around the area fought the flames, people from around the community came to watch.

“I first heard about it because of Twitter, and [when] I looked more into it, it exceeded my expectations. It’s tragic in a way. So many items that probably took decades to acquire, completely destroyed,” Annabella Piunti (11) said.

St. John, Griffith, Crown Point, Merrillville, Cedar Lake, Lake Hills and Lake Ridge Fire Departments were all called to help Schererville Fire Department put out the large flames.

“When I was driving home from my [gymnastics] meet I saw the smoke. As we got closer to the fire, I was kind of worried for the people that lived so close to it because there were a lot of trees and other things that could have caught their houses on fire too,” Maya Tobin (11) said.