One business destroyed, others damaged in large fire in downtown Knox
KNOX, Ind. (WNDU) - Emergency crews are cleaning up after a large fire destroyed one business and damaged two others in downtown Knox on Thursday morning.
According to Knox-Center Township Fire Chief Kenny Pfost, calls came in around 8:40 a.m. CDT on reports of a building engulfed with flames.
When firefighters arrived, Vorpal Gaming (formerly June Brothers’ Instruments) was completely overtaken by the fire, so Pfost called for help from nearby fire departments. He said if they hadn’t gotten there in time, the entire block may have gone up in flames.
”We responded and found the building well engulfed,” Pfost said. “I immediately called for a second alarm, which brings us help from Hamlet, North Judson, Koontz Lake, Walkerton, and I’m sure I’m missing a few. Ended up at a fourth alarm. Thank you to the crews on scene. They stopped it, it could have easily took the whole block.”
Pfost said there were a couple of challenges they faced putting the fire out.
“One, with the railroad track being such close proximity,” Pfost said. “So, the railroad traffic was shut down for an extended period of time. It is open again. And then another part is the water supply. Our best water supply was a couple of blocks away along U.S. 35.”
While only Vorpal Gaming is completely destroyed by the fire, the two buildings next to it have smoke, water, and heat damage.
The fire is still under investigation. The cause remains unknown.
“We don’t know how the fire started at this time,” Pfost says. “I’ve contacted the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office. They are on the scene, and they’ve began their investigation. At this point, it’s been contained to the building, the fire building. Just water, smoke, and heat damage on the two exposures on the north and south sides of the fire building.”
Pfost says no one was inside the building at the time of the fire. Three firefighters were treated at the scene for dehydration and a minor injury. No one else was injured.
Firefighters were at the scene for nine hours.
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