Three fire departments called to early morning fire
May 1—Fire completely destroyed a former cabinet shop between Washington and Montgomery Monday.
Just before 1 a.m. authorities received a report of a fire in a former cabinet shop behind J &L Home Center at 68 N. CR 450 E.
"The roof had already caved in when we arrived," said Montgomery Assistant Fire Chief Dwayne Murphy. "We decided at that point to just surround and drown the fire. We probably put close to 20,000 gallons of water on it."
Officials say that the building was so badly damaged that it is unlikely that they will ever get a cause.
"The cause will probably just be listed as undetermined," said Murphy.
The building was owned by Phil Knepp. Officials say he was using it for storage, including several personal items the family was storing while they moved into a new house across the road.
"I don't know exactly what the contents of the shop were," said Murphy. "But whatever was in there is a total loss."
Firefighters say there were some items near the building that they attempted to save.
"They had a camper that was parked next to the building and when we arrived, we hooked a truck up to the camper and tried to pull it away," said Murphy. "There was also a pickup truck next to rear of the building and it got scorched but I don't think it had a lot of damage."
With the help of firefighters from Cannelburg and Washington Township, the fire was brought under control around 3 a.m. Putting it out though was a bigger problem. The former cabinet shop was a metal building and that meant heavy equipment had to be brought in to move out the metal and douse the fire.
"Metal buildings are really bad because the roof falls in and the metal doesn't burn. It just sits on top of everything," said Murphy. "They moved the metal so that we could get to the rest of the fire, but we have been called back once and with the wind in the forecast I would not be surprised if we have to return a couple more times. It is really difficult to get those buildings out."
No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.