A 19-year-old man has been arrested after a structure fire in Porter, according to a joint press release by Porter Police and Porter Fire.

Early Friday, just before 1:05 a.m. Porter Police and Fire responded to a report of an abandoned structure on fire at Wabash Avenue and Johnson Beach Road. It was discovered that a small, abandoned house located behind the old Johnson Inn was engulfed in flames. Porter Fire struck a first alarm and initiated a defensive attack. Some neighboring homes were evacuated out of an abundance of caution due to the heavy fire conditions that were compounded by a strong wind off Lake Michigan.

Officers arrived on scene and located a local 19-year-old man standing in front of the burning building. The man was detained for further investigation and transported to the Porter Police Department. An interview was conducted and probable cause was developed to place the young man under arrest on suspicion of arson and burglary. The suspect was lodged at the Porter County Jail and formal charges with the Porter County Prosecutor’s Office are pending. His name will be released after charges are signed.

Porter Fire requested the assistance of the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office at the scene.

The investigation is ongoing. No injuries were reported.