Fire – Full Report – 206 E. Sigler St., 6-4-2011

The short version

Saturday evening, June 4, fire gutted a downtown business at 206 E. Sigler St. in Frankton. One resident was present when the fire started and was transported by Frankton Ambulance Service to an Indianapolis-area hospital with minor burns. 13 fire departments responded in support of the six-hour effort, which resulted in the total loss of the Added Touch florist and antique shop but which saved the MainSource Bank on one side and the pet spa and hair salon on the other side, which received smoke and water damage. The cause of the fire is still undetermined and is under investigation by the State Fire Marshall’s office with assistance from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.

Initial Call... 10:14 p.m.

Engine 32... 10:26 p.m.

Ventilating... 10:29 p.m.

Details

At 10:14 p.m., with power still out to much of Frankton and several members of the department at Station 1 after an evening of storm-related incidents, Madison County Dispatch reported a structure fire with possible entrapment on Sigler Street. Within moments of the call, Chief Rob Amick arrived on scene to find flames through the roof of the rear portion of the Added Touch florist and antique shop next to MainSource Bank. Engine 32 was quickly in place and hooked up as preparation was made to enter the rear of the building, based on initial reports of a person potentially trapped inside. It was quickly clarified that the resident, who lived in an apartment over the store, had already exited the building and was in the care of the Frankton Ambulance Service, so the focus shifted to evaluating and fighting the fire itself, without the need to first perform a search of the now-unoccupied building.

Strategizing... 10:43 p.m.

Battling the blaze... 10:41 p.m.

Flashover... 10:40 p.m.

Complicating the battle, water availability and pressure from the hydrants was compromised by the ongoing power outage which was affecting the pumps at the water tower, so a call went out early for mutual aid support from other area fire departments, with a strong focus on tankers. Over the course of the evening, over a dozen tankers responded, making multiple trips to refill in nearby Alexandria and Elwood. The structure was one of the oldest wooden structures in downtown Frankton, with brick and concrete block buildings on either side. As it became apparent that the wooden structure would be a total loss, a huge effort was made by all responders to keep the fire from involving the surrounding businesses, and firefighters were able to enter the neighboring businesses, as conditions allowed, and retrieve important items for the business owners in order to minimize the losses incurred.

Aerial support... 10:55 p.m.

Still smoldering... 5:49 a.m. Sunday

Extinguishing hot spots... 6:08 a.m. Sunday

Aftermath

The bulk of the blaze was under control by 11:30 p.m. and what remained was another four hours of continuing to pour water into the remains in order to extinguish all remaining pockets of flame. The old wooden structure was particularly volatile and continued to smolder and rekindle through the course of the night. As things died down, the responding units from other stations were released to return to service, and most of FVFD was returned to service shortly after 4 a.m., though members continued to monitor the building remains for the rest of the night, checking for hot spots, tracking the source of smoke and adding water as needed. Since the Added Touch building facade was still standing, but not particularly stable, Sigler Street was secured and closed to traffic in order to ensure safety if the facade collapsed, and FVFD finally left the scene shortly before 7 a.m. Sunday, almost nine hours after the incident began. One last call came from Dispatch at 11:21 a.m. for a potential rekindle in a corner of the facade, which was quickly investigated and extinguished.

Aftermath... 11:54 a.m. Sunday

Morning-after rekindle... 11:53 a.m. Sunday

Responders

A fire of this size requires the coordinated effort of a large number of responders, and we were thankful for the mutual-aid response from surrounding fire departments and other agencies. In addition to FVFD, which responded with Rescue 35, Grass 36, Engine 32, Engine 31, Tanker 33 and Battalion 30, the following fire departments and apparatus were on-scene:

Station 20 – Ingalls Volunteer Fire Department – Tanker 28
Station 40 – Richland Township Volunteer Fire Department – Engine 48, Tanker 40, Tanker 44, Rescue 49, Battalion 40
Station 50 – Chesterfield-Union Township Volunteer Fire Department – Ladder 55, Battalion 50, Tanker 58
Station 60 – Summitville/Van-Buren Township Volunteer Fire Department – Tanker 63, Engine 65
Station 70 – Lapel/Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department – Grass 75, Tanker 76
Station 80 – Pendleton Volunteer Fire Department – Tanker 88
Alexandria – Tanker 5-3
Pipe Creek – Tanker 4-0, Engine 4-1 and Rescue 4-4
Duck Creek – Tanker 8-2 and Tanker 8-3
Wayne Township (Hamilton County) – Tanker 15
White River Township (Hamilton County) – Tanker 31
Jackson Township (Hamilton County) – Tanker 55

Other agencies responding: Madison County EMA, State Fire Marshal, Frankton Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Department and Frankton Ambulance Service. Also, the FVFD Ladies Auxiliary did an amazing job of ensuring that all responders stayed hydrated and fed through the course of the event, supplying water, Gatorade, and a 2 a.m. Burger King run for bag after bag of cheeseburgers. We would also like to thank all members of the community who brought refreshments and coolers to the scene, as always thank you for your support of our department! Thanks go out to everyone who was involved!

More photos (and a link to the full set of incident photos) can be found in this earlier post.

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