Authorities Say Portage Apartment Fire Started By Child Playing With Matches

(Portage) A Portage apartment fire that took the life of a young child on Sunday morning is believed to have been started by a four-year-old playing with matches. Investigators say it was the four-year-old’s brother, Damien Lawless, who perished due to smoke inhalation. Emergency responders were called to the Ram Hotel apartments just before 10am.  While Portage police officers were helping residents evacuate the structure, they were told a young child might be trapped on the fifth floor.  Fire and smoke initially stopped the would-be rescuers, but firefighters were eventually able to find the two-year-old child — who later died at Divine Savior Healthcare in Portage. A GoFundMe page has been established to help the Lawless family with funeral costs. A link to the GoFundMe account can be found here: