Large fire shut downs several blocks of Lincolnway, local businesses destroyed

NOW: Large fire shut downs several blocks of Lincolnway, local businesses destroyed

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - Fire crews were dispatched on the scene of a structure fire on Lincolnway West, near Brookfield Street, in South Bend Monday morning, leaving several blooks of Lincolnway West shutdown and a business destroyed.

The call came in reporting the fire at 9:11 a.m. at CB Specialist, an electronic repair shop in South Bend. 

According to PulsePoint, 20 units are on scene, which is nearly all the engines in South Bend. 

Crews wrapped up putting the flames out around 6pm, with most of those crews leaving around 3. 

ABC57 spoke to Dave Plonski, a longtime employee of the shop. He said the fire broke out just after the shop opened its doors. 

"it started just like that. Probably 5 or 10 minutes before things started getting really bad."

The South Bend Fire Department spent hours getting the flames under control. With smoke so heavy it became impossible to see at times.

The entire building includes a garage, residential unit, and the business all under one roof.

Fire Battalion Chief Mike Lagodney said when crews arrived--- there fuel tanks burning in the garage and electronics burning inside the store.

"A lot of fire, and three building put together in multiple, different ways. So we're chasing hot spots all over the place."

The snow and freezing temperatures made it more difficult for firefighters as they constantly rotated, to fight the fire from outside. 

"We did go interior for a brief moment. The fire was so intense, we couldn’t control it."

We spoke to the Owner of CB Specialist, who was not taking interviews at the time, but did tell us he has been the owner there for nearly 50 years. Him and his team were all able to get out safely, after trying to extinguish the flames themselves. 

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