Road closures surrounding the two-block area of the structure fire in downtown Valparaiso at Lincolnway and Michigan continue, and are expected to remain blocked off through at least tomorrow morning, according to Valparaiso fire officials. Smoke is reportedly still smoldering at the site at last check, and the facade of the building was pulled down around 4pm today, the last major piece of the structure to be razed. Fire crews are reportedly still searching for hotspots at the site, monitoring the stability of surrounding buildings, and forklifts are digging through the rubble searching for a cause of the fire, which at this time remains unknown.
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(Photo Courtesy of the Porter County Museum)
Residents near where the fire occurred to the two-story brick building, at Lincolnway and Michigan, say they awoke to the distinct smell of burnt wood, and one of those residents including Mayor Jon Costas, who says he could smell the smoke when he got into his car this morning. Our own Jay Stevens spoke with the son of the building's owner, Duwayne Dermaylen, at the scene, who stated he received a phone call about 1:45 this morning about the fire at the building, which was built back in 1905, and was one of the first commercial building's in Valparaiso.
Today's fire in downtown Valparaiso has caused some outages in the area of Lincolnway and Michigan. NIPSCO spokesperson Nick Meyer says they have about 38 customers, most of which are businesses, that are without power at last check. Meyer says crews are on-scene, waiting for the okay to switch the power back on, but with the damage, there is a number of inspections and steps that the city must take first before power is restored, but that process should be relatively quick, and they anticipate power being restored sometime tonight.
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Chief Lamb says the fire destroyed and weakened the structure of the building making it potentially hazardous to the general public and because of that the remaining walls, especially located on the west side along Michigan Avenue will come down.
As of two o'clock this afternoon, Laura Waluszko of the Region News Team reporting from the scene, said a crane had begun to knock down the compromised walls of the burnt out structure. Assistant Fire Chief Lamb earlier said that the fire department hopes to have Lincolnway reopened by four o'clock this afternoon, but that is no guarantee.
Currently, Lincolnway is closed between Morgan Avenue and Franklin Street.
The over 100-year old building was one of the first commercial buildings to be built in downtown Valparaiso.
(photos courtesy of Jay Stevens)
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[Photo/Karl Berner, Region News Team]
Water collects in on Morgan St., a half block from the fire scene in downtown Valparaiso as officials discuss the situation. Crews remained on scene at the fire, contained to one historic building at Lincolnway and Michigan St., at 8:15 this morning, and were expected to be on scene most of the day.
[Photo/Camie Marfoe, Valparaiso]
Road closures -- Lincolnway, from Morgan to Washington... Michigan closed in both directions... The fire is at building at Lincolnway and Michigan.
There is a fire hose running down the middle of Lincolnway from the Porter County Courthouse all the way to the fire scene. The fire hose is also blocking Franklin.
City parking lot west of Round the Clock restaurant is closed with fire equipment
Expect fire crews to be on scene for most of the day
Llincolnway EAST of Morgan (where many people turn north to get to Calumet Ave) is open... CAN'T go south on Morgan, but you can go NORTH
Fire apparently under control, but heavy smoke still in the area, and winds from the west are blowing the smoke into the downtown area.
Also – there are some power outages, including the Lifestyles building... outages due to fire and power being shut off... NIPSCO has been on scene
One firefighter has been transported to the hospital after a major fire breaks out overnight in a building that takes up about a whole block, in downtown Valparaiso. There's also fire damage to other structures on either side. The extent of the firefighter's injuries wasn't available at this time. The Valparaiso Fire Department got the call around 1:30 am. Crews from Morgan Township and Washington Township were also on scene.
Officials say the fire was in a two-story brick building at Lincolnway and Michigan, a structure that includes a mortgage company at that corner, plus businesses that face Michigan south of Lincolnway, including a barber shop and at least one other store. Authorities say almost the entire inside of that building has been destroyed. For those who are familiar with downtown Valpo, the building is a block east of Lifestyles.
Power is also out in some of the downtown buildings, east of the square, including the Lifestyles building from what we've been told this morning, and it's unknown how long those businesses will be without power.
[Photos/Karl Berner, Region News Team]
In Valparaiso, crews are at the scene of a major fire in the downtown area overnight. Authorities are asking motorists to avoid Lincolnway this morning. Tipsters tell us the fire is at the corner of Lincolnway and Michigan. We do not have confirmed what businesses may have been affected at this time. Lincolnway is shut down just east of the downtown square and it's expected it will be closed for quite some time today.
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In a simple ceremony at the Hobart Police Station, Hobart Mayor Brian Snedecor named Hobart police officer Rick Zormier as Hobart's new police chief, effective immediately. After nineteen years on the force, Zormier received a law degree from Valparaiso University in 2004 and takes the helm as top cop, vowing to resolve issues that have given the Hobart Police Department some recent negative publicity and to make sure the citizens of Hobart get the integrity and transparency they deserve....
There has been concern that Asian carp eggs, larvae and fry contained in towboat and barge ballast tanks could be transported past electrical dispersal barriers operated by the U.S. Army...
The clip from Mysteries at the Museum features the history behind the infamous wooden gun. Visitors may watch the clip inside the In-Vision Theatre every half hour during the event.
The Lake County and Po...
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Westbound South Shore Train 18 scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 2:24 PM is running 20-30 minutes late due to red signals.
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INDIANAPOLIS—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last week that t...
[Photo/Nick Russ, Radio One Communications]
The Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce provides regular opportunities for its members to get downstate updates. One of those opportunities was this morning, featuring a conference call with a variety of Region lawmakers. Chamber President Rex Richards says the chamber hosts these calls the first and third Friday of each legislative session, and it gives business owners a chance to ask questions about specific pieces of legislation.
For more info, call the...
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