Frankfort firefighters' long battle with the downtown fire

After eight to ten hours, fire crews were able to cool down the other hot areas of the building. Start to finish, it was a long process for firefighters.

Posted: Jan 23, 2019 6:55 PM
Updated: Jan 23, 2019 8:48 PM

FRANKFORT, Ind (WLFI)— On Tuesday Frankfort Fire Department was dispatched to 55 West Washington St. in Downtown Frankfort. This is where the T&R Pet Grooming Center is located and caught fire in the garage area of the building. 

The fire escalated and began to take the second building connected. These buildings have been around for decades, and fire crews were battling flames, weather, and the structural integrity of these old buildings. 

"You're definitely going to run into some obstacles when you're coming to an old downtown and fighting fires in old buildings." Says Chief John Kirby of the Frankfort Fire Department. 

Fire crews were battling to keep flames contained. Although, with high winds throughout the day it was hard for firefighters to keep flames under control.

"You go down and look. Both roofs have collapsed in and on the first building, the second floor collapsed as well. So if we had firefighters in there we would be attending a funeral" Says Chief Kirby.

While crews worked diligently. There were still plenty of obstacles to overcome while trying to contain the flames. Greg Miller, a 32 year veteran with the department fell through the second floor and suffered a charlie horse. 

"We did have a firefighter go down today. And I went to his house. He is home. And I just want everybody to know. This guy did a great job. Our guys do a great job." Says Chief Kirby.

These buildings represent so much history. On the side of the building where the fire began, there was a mural that represented so much history for the city of Frankfort. That's why firefighters try their best to preserve what they can. When they can. 

Fire crews were on the scene until 8 am Wednesday morning. Luckily the rain that started Tuesday evening helped cool down some of the hot embers firefighters worried would spark another fire. 

"We will be here frequently through the night and tonight. Making sure nothing rekindles" Says Chief Kirby

Investigators are still currently trying to figure out how the fire started. The Investigation began Wednesday morning around 9 a.m.

Many of the businesses connected to the pet grooming service such as the karate center and boutique are still operable. Although those doors haven't been cleared to open for the public just yet. 

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