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By Stan Maddux
The News-Dispatch

LA PORTE, Ind. - Seven people, including a baby, were rescued from a burning apartment building early Wednesday thanks to a La Porte police officer.
Smoke detectors are present in the building, but everyone was asleep and none apparently went off, owner Gene Abraham said, adding, "It could have been much worse."
Officer Jennifer Kampf was on patrol at Lincolnway and Indiana Avenue when she smelled smoke. The odor became stronger as she headed east. She then saw heavy smoke coming from the roof of a two-story house at 604 Jefferson Ave.
Kampf said there were three apartments in the building, and she immediately went inside, banging on one of the doors and yelling.
According to police, Kristina Yacconi, 29, answered the door, and the officer told her of the fire and to get everybody out.
Yacconi and her boyfriend, Chuck Kodie, 43, and their 5-month old son, Shane, made their way to safety through the heavy smoke.
"I'm just glad everybody is all right," Kodie said.
Kampf also woke up Mary Ann Franz and her daughter, Gina, 16. Officer Brian Favia arrived and helped Kampf get the girl and her mother outside.
Abraham and Todd Armstrong were in an apartment downstairs and gathering their belongings when urged to leave.
Kampf said she heard a pop and turned to see flames coming from a vent in a wall inside Abraham's unit.
Abraham said old wiring behind a wall apparently started the fire, which moved up the walls and into the attic.
Kodie and his family were staying with friends and might be displaced for awhile because their apartment sustained most of the damage.
Abraham said he plans to repair the apartment house, but had no idea how much it would cost. He said two of the units should be livable again soon with minor repairs and some major cleanup of smoke and water damage.
"As far as fires go, I feel very fortunate," Abraham said.

Wire Service
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