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Looking At Loogootee Fire One Year Later
Updated November 12, 2015 8:26 AM
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(LOOGOOTEE) - A year latter, charred red bricks still lie on the ground in the downtown area of Loogootee.

On November 12, 2014, more than 100 firefighters from 10 different fire departments battled the blaze that started in Rosie's T-Shirt Shop at 215 North JFK Avenue. Within 10 minutes the Loogootee square would be engulfed in flames

The fire started when a glue gun sparked at the shop and then spread to Laurie's Flowers and His and Hers Beauty Salon.

The wind blew embers south, igniting a fourth business (Englert's Home Comfort Center) and several upstairs apartments were damaged. Rosie's T-Shirt Shop and Laurie's Flowers were a total loss.

At one point, officials used a front loader to knock down the wall of His and Hers Beauty Salon to get to the fire inside.

Other businesses that were impacted by the fire include: Cartridge Depot, Ippoliti Law Office and M & M Electric, Inc.

Firefighters say it is not surprising that the fire spread so quickly. Construction material, no fire walls and the age of the buildings made them susceptible to fire. Many were built centuries ago with numerous roofs before building codes were in place.

Loogootee Mayor Noel Harty says memories went up in flames that day.

"But the community came together," Mayor Harty added. "Other business owners brought food and beverages to firefighters. Everyone was supportive and that is what community is all about."

Within a few days, some of the businesses including Rosie's and the law office of Isha Ryan-Wright, who is the city attorney, were relocated to other buildings in the vicinity. According to Mayor Harty all of the businesses but Cartridge Depot have reopened near their former locations or relocated around town.

"There are still hole in the heart of the downtown, but the city decided Monday to purchase the now vacant lot of the former His and Hers Beauty Salon," Harty added. "We have no immediate plans for the lot."

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