Updated: Monday, 14 Dec 2009, 4:46 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 25 Nov 2009, 11:10 AM EST
DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) - Six fire departments in Carroll County responded to the call on 210 South Washington Street in downtown Delphi along with a group from Battle Ground.
The wood and bricks are all that remain of the Kerlin Building. It had two offices, two apartments and the office tavern. People gathered on the streets of Delphi to watch firefighters in action.
"It's unusual," said Caleb Buffenbarger who works in Delphi. "It's not everyday a building catches on fire. It's been there that long."
Brian Simmons was at the scene all day, watching a place he went to frequently, burn to the ground.
"I eat over there all the time," Simmons said. "I know the people who work there."
"It's just right before the holiday and everything. I know downstairs and some of the businesses they were doing some work for some different holiday things and I know that is going to put a big impact on some of the people too," Carrol County resident Troy Veach said.
Former Delphi police officer Leslie Lucas took pictures while firefighters tried to put the flames out.
"They had firemen up on the aerial ladders putting water down in to the window area," Lucas explained. "What I saw today was a great thing. I saw a bunch of guys from different fire departments from different areas come together and work in unity is what I saw."
Now that the fire has burnt out, all that is left is pieces of the building. Firefighters are starting to pick up the debris and try to figure out what exactly caused the fire.
"It was long and the guys did a great job and a great stop on this to just keep it in this one building," Delphi Fire Chief Denny Randle said. "Usually you get a downtown fire like this in these old buildings, you end up losing a block."
Randle said they will continue their investigation into why the fire started on Friday. They plan to interview the people who live and work in the building to figure out what may have caused the building to catch fire.
3:20 update: Delphi schools will be dismissed as normal. Any students that cannot get home safely will be taken by bus back to the elementary school. Parents should expect delays.
Fire crews were called out to a fire above the Office Tavern at 212 South Washington Street in downtown Delphi just before 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 25.
A witness said she could see smoke in the street near the intersection of State Roads 25 and 39 shortly after the fire broke out.
Delphi and Carroll County Police are urging drivers to stay
clear of the area, and said traffic coming south from Logansport on
State Road 25 will be re-routed to State Road 218 and onto State
The south junction of U.S. 421 and S.R. 18 will be routed to Flora off State Road 25.
The building where the fire started was built in the late 1870s. "They are all interconnected" said Anita Werling, of the Delphi Preservation Society. "If it spreads and it looks like it is, this could be a horrible disaster for Delphi."
In an afternoon news conference, fire and city officials said they believe the fire started in an apartment above the Office Tavern. A firewall is thought to have saved the building adjacent to 212 South Washington.
The building contains two or three apartments above the tavern. Delphi Mayor Randy Strasser said displaced families are staying at the Delphi United Methodist Church.
There were no injuries in the fire. Police said traffic restrictions in and around Delphi will remain in place until fire crews clear the scene. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Fire investigators said the roof of the building collapsed onto the apartment units and the Office Tavern sustained heavy water and smoke damage.