FLORA, Ind. (WLFI) - Firefighters worked for hours to stop the fire from destroying the town's downtown area.
Flora Fire Chief Mike Cottrell says he was afraid the fire at the NAPA Auto Parts building would spread to other businesses.
"It was all contained to the NAPA store. The comment office is behind him and of course the bank is adjacent to him, attached," Cottrell said. "I think if we had gotten to the bank building we would've lost the whole block."
Although other businesses were saved, NAPA Auto Parts was not.
Cottrell says he got the call of the fire around 5:30 Sunday evening.
It took more than 2 hours and seven fire departments to contain the fire.
More than five hours later, firefighters still worked to get the hot spots while onlookers stood by.
"There was a little bit of smoke coming out the back," witness Michael Davis said. "They got a hole cut in it on the top of the building. As soon as they did that about a half-hour later it really started going."
Cottrell says the fire started at the top of the building, avoiding some flammable materials.
"He did have a lot of paint products, and paint thinners and that sort of thing in there. There was a heavy fire load upstairs as far as records and cardboard boxes that were saved," Cottrell said. "But with most of the flammable liquids downstairs on the first floor, we didn't get into that as much."
A state fire marshal was on the scene to help find the cause of the fire.
Cottrell says some firefighters suffered from minor heat exhaustion, but there were no serious injuries.
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