10 departments, nearly 100 firefighters battle Elkhart Co. business blaze

Published: Jan. 7, 2019 at 11:33 PM EST
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A massive fire broke out in Elkhart County just after 6 p.m. Monday, requiring crews from multiple townships to respond and battle the blaze for hours.

There were still hot spots at Recycled New Pallets at about 11 p.m., but crews were slowly starting to leave, and the smoke was dying down at that point.

The Concord Township Fire Department was called out just after 6 p.m. for the blaze, and once they arrived, the immediately called for assistance.

In total, 10 fire departments were called out, and nearly 100 firefighters were on the scene at the fire's peak. Since the building was filled with wood, it continued to burn for nearly five hours.

Four firefighters were taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

With fires this large, the fire chief focuses on those directly affected by the blaze.

"With this fire here, there's a tremendous amount of damage," Concord Township Fire Chief Richard Rochford said. "I can't put a dollar amount on it right now. But I can probably tell you one thing, that there's some people that might lose their jobs temporarily until they restructure. So, when you start looking at things of that nature, those are the situations when you look at the worst fires. How is it going to go ahead and impact other people? And that's what we do our best to stop that fire as early as we possibly can and reduce the impact of those types of situations."

Rochford said the wind was actually helpful, blowing through the building and creating an almost clear path for the firefighters to see the damage and the hot spots.

He also said the firefighters are prepared to be out there all night, until the building is cold.