3-alarm downtown fire destroys vacant building

Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013 @ 4:06 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 10, 2013 @ 4:06 PM

A three-alarm fire destroyed a downtown Springfield building early Sunday morning while water from firefighting flooded the banquet facilities of the historic Asa S. Bushnell Building.

The 1920 Carter Jewelers Co. building at 12 N. Fountain Ave., valued at $70,180 according to the Clark County Auditor’s Office, was a total loss, Springfield Fire Rescue Division Capt. Dan Faust said.

Meanwhile, water used to put out the fire flooded the basement of the newer portion of the Bushnell Building, but caused minimal damage, owner Jim Lagos told the Springfield News-Sun on Sunday.

The majority of fire damage was contained to the vacant Carter building, owned by the Wellington Square development company. But smoke and heat damaged the exterior brick of the Bushnell Building to its north and another vacant building to its south also owned by Wellington Square, Faust said.

Wellington Square is a wholly owned subsidiary of the non-profit Turner Foundation.

“It’s an unfortunate situation for the community, but we’ll take a look at it and make it an opportunity that will take downtown to the next level,” Turner Foundation Executive Director John Landess said.

The Carter building, which had a 1960s facade, had been used recently as a meeting point for downtown holiday decorators and was formerly a bar, Landess said.

“It wasn’t keeping with the block which has turn-of-the-century store fronts,” Landess said. However, the developer had plans to do some work on it, he said.

The remaining building owned by Wellington Square also sustained a flooded basement and damage to its rubber roof and would be checked out by a structural engineer for safety. It’s had recent interest from potential tenants, Landess said.

Lagos said a contractor from water mitigation Code Blue — which is housed in the the 1893 portion of the Bushnell Building — was on scene early Sunday afternoon. He expected the water to be mitigated and damages repaired within several days.

The fire remains under investigation. It was not known if investigators would be able to determine a cause because of the extent of damage, Faust said of the two-story front and single-story rear building.

“As far as pinning it down to one thing, it’s going to be hard to do unless there was something going on in the building, a maintenance-type thing or something like that, that somebody can pinpoint ‘Hey I was working over in this area,’” Faust said. The division’s fire marshal’s bureau is investigating.

Nothing initially appeared suspicious, he said.

Landess speculated that someone may have pulled back a portion of the sheet metal exterior to the rear, entered the building to keep warm and lit a fire that got out of control. He also said the front door was unlocked, out of the norm for the development company.

The rear addition was being removed to make way for an additional point of egress from the Bushnell Building, Landess said. It was cheaply constructed and would have been easy to get into, he said.

It wasn’t clear whether electrical service was connected to the building. Fire officials said electric crews disconnected the building’s service after the fire started, but Landess said he didn’t think they’d had electric service.

Crews initially attacked the fire from the interior but quickly realized that it was too far ahead of them when fire began coming through the roof. “At that point … we pulled the guys out to go defensive,” Faust said.

After the bulk of the fire was out, crews tried to limit the amount of water used to avoid further flooding in the basements, Faust said.

The fire closed North Fountain Avenue between Columbia and Main Streets while emergency and clean-up crews worked.

Cause of fire at vacant apartment building under investigation

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

UPDATE @ noon

The cause of a fire that started on the second floor of a vacant apartment building in Dayton is under investigation.

No one was injured in the fire on Mumma Avenue near Riverside Drive.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke coming from the second floor.

Dayton Power and Light was called to ensure power was off to the building.

EARLIER

Crews in Dayton encountered heavy smoke at an apartment fire at Riverside Drive and East Helena Street.

Smoke was pouring from the second floor of the apparently vacant structure at 10:20 a.m.

We’re on scene working to learn more and will update this story as more information becomes available.

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Windy and turning cold, flurries possible today

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 4:07 AM

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Gusty winds usher in cooler air/snow flurries
  • Wind-chills into the teens Saturday evening
  • Slight warming trend kicks in again next week

DETAILED FORECAST

Today: It’s going to be a blustery afternoon with mostly cloudy and temperatures falling through the 30s. Passing snow showers may reduce visibility at times, mainly during the first half of the day. Gusty winds up to 30 MPH allowing wind chills to fall into the teens for anyone with Saturday evening plans.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy and dry tonight. Temperatures will be falling into the 20s by Sunday morning with wind chill values in the teens.

Sunday: Sunday will be the pick day of the weekend. After a cold start more sunshine will be returning to the forecast and seasonable temperatures are expected. Highs will be in the lower 40s.

Monday: Mostly cloudy skies are expected to start the work week with the chance for a few rain showers. Highs will be climbing back through the upper 40s as a slight warming trend kicks back in.

Tuesday: Above average temperatures will be returning on Tuesday. Cloudy and breezy but with scattered showers and perhaps a rumble of thunder. Highs will reach to near 60 degrees.

Wednesday: The chance for rain lingers at times on Wednesday as well, mainly early. Highs will be in the mid-50s with temperatures slowly falling throughout the afternoon.

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Today Feb 25, 2017 - 4:18 AM
Temperature Trend Feb 25, 2017 - 4:18 AM

Power restored to most in Miami Valley following Friday storms

Published: Friday, February 24, 2017 @ 8:06 PM
Updated: Friday, February 24, 2017 @ 11:45 PM

UPDATE @ 5:15 a.m. (Feb. 25)

Power has been restored to the majority of Miami Valley homes that experienced outages due to last night’s severe weather.

High winds and hail were responsible for thousands of power outages first reported Friday evening.

According to the Dayton Power and Light online outage map, a smattering of homes in Montgomery, Preble and Miami counties are still without power.   

EARLIER REPORT (Feb. 24)

Power outages are being reported as a result of the storms crossing through the region tonight. 

According to the Dayton Power & Light online outage page: 

At 11:30 p.m., there are 123 outages in Miami, 90 in Auglaize, 74 in Logan, 52 in Greene, 33 in Preble, 26 in Montgomery and scattered elsewhere (4 each in Clinton and Union, 2 in Darke and 1 each in Mercer and Champaign)

Take a tour of WHIO’s SkyWarn office

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 12:22 AM

News Center 7’s Cheryl McHenry gives a tour of the SkyWarn office just a few steps from the WHIO studio.

When severe weather looms, National Weather Service staffs the Dayton office with some of its trained volunteers to take reports from other trained volunteers out in the field in 15 counties in the Miami Valley and eastern Indiana.

These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.