Walkerton gas station fire impacts community
WALKERTON, Ind. --- Officials investigating an early morning fire that damaged Casey’s General Store and gas station in Walkerton leaving residents down to just one gas station in town.
When police initially responded to the call after an alarm went off around 2:00 am. at the store on the 200 block of Roosevelt and Washington street, they said they noticed the windows were smoked over.
Thankfully no one was hurt, but there was a good amount damage to the property, with some of the windows now boarded up.
“The structure's probably salvageable, but all the contents are a total loss,” said Walkerton Volunteer Fire Department Chief John Paschen. “I don’t know about the equipment, if they can clean that up, but the inventory is all gone and the east end of the building almost a total loss.”
Chief Paschen said all together six departments helped put that fire out just after 2:30 am Friday morning, after crews battled the blaze for nearly an hour and a half.
But with much of the damage to the inside of the store, the town is limited to just one gas station. Which some residents believe will impact many people in the area.
“Like I said local farmers went down there, it’s got a lot of parking down there for them and it was convenient for me. I got in and I got out you know,” said local resident Marilyn Chlupacek.
“Oh, it’s going to be a big impact until they get going. I drove by the other gas station and they are packed. They have a McDonald’s in one end and the line was out to six. Every pump was full of cars. It will be a big impact for a while,” added Chief Paschen.
Lines were already filling up at Save gas station pumps just down the road, and local folks abc57 spoke with said it’s not just the gas at Casey’s that will be missed.
“Casey’s makes pizzas, they make slices of pizzas and breakfast and biscuits and gravy and all that other stuff…,” explained one local resident.
“It’s really the only place around here to get food at 2:00 in the morning, nowhere was open around here, that’d be the biggest thing,” added Tony Carrasco, another local.
Officials said at this time they do not believe the fire was intentionally set, but confirmed it did start in the east part of the building. Right now, the Walkerton Fire Department and the fire marshal are still investigating exactly what sparked the blaze.
In the meantime, Chief Paschen added the store’s general manager is working to get everything back up and running as soon as possible.