LaGrange fire continues to burn 24 hours later
LAGRANGE, Ind. -- The fire that started around 10 a.m. Tuesday on the lower level of the Family Dollar in LaGrange has burned for more than 24 hours.
The fire spread to several attached buildings on Detroit Street.
The Family Dollar building collapsed Tuesday afternoon.
Departments from several neighboring counties have responded to the scene to assist and bring in additional water.
“We’ve gone into all surrounding counties, Steuben, Noble, Elkhart and St. Joe County, Michigan,” said Mark McClish, Incident Commander for LaGrange Fire.
More than a million gallons of water have been brought in via tankers from other departments.
“We’re tankering in all the water we need, that way the town water system can replenish itself. We’re trying not to tap that unless at all necessary,” said LaGrange Fire Chief Dave Elick.
The LaGrange Fire Department says they drained the town's water to such an extent residents are under a boil water notice.
We asked Chief Elick why the fire is taking so long to put out.
"The way the building is constructed. It's over 100 years old and built with native lumber, true dimensional lumber. It's old dry wood that fell onto itself," Elick said.
He said the debris from the collapse is making it difficult to fight the fire.
"It's hard to get to once it's collapsed. We have a backhoe that's coming in later this morning to assist putting it out," Elick said around 5 a.m.
The fire marshal and backhoe operator were at the scene late Tuesday night. They went to get some sleep and returned to the scene first thing in the morning.
Once the fire is completely out, the fire marshal will begin the investigation into how the fire started.
Residents came out to watch the fire and support the firefighters.
Miller's Grocery Store brought in food and drinks for the firefighters.
“We just wanted to make sure we can feed them, and take care of them, help do our part for the community,” said Brian Cairl, night manager of Millers Grocery Store.