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Fire guts town garage



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Rainbolt checks for hot spots after the fire is extinguished in the Town of Milltown's storage garage on East Street. The building was a total loss, but the town, which had insurance on the structure and equipment, plans to rebuild. Photo by Lee Cable
July 01, 2009
A fire in Milltown last week gutted a building where the town stores its maintenance equipment.

The building, located next to the cemetery off East Street, caught fire during the late afternoon of June 23 after town workers, who had been mowing during the day, returned the mowers to the garage and locked the doors.

"According to the (state) fire marshal, it appears that one of the lawn mowers caught fire after it was parked inside the building," Town Manager Jim Pevlor said.

"I drove by and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary," Indiana State Police Det. Phil Stowers said. "I drove down to Maxine's Market and, when I came back by a few minutes later, smoke and fire was coming out of the top of the building."

Stowers and Milltown Police Chief Ray Saylor were the first to arrive, followed almost immediately by a Milltown firetruck driven by Fire Chief Scott Dubois. The trio began fighting the fire until other volunteer firefighters arrived.

Within minutes, the fire was brought under control and reinforcements from Ramsey Volunteer Fire Department came with three firetrucks to help. The group dealt with hot spots and stayed at the scene until they were sure the fire was completely doused.

Temperatures were in the 90s, and firefighters, wearing full turn-out gear, endured both the heat from the fire and the weather.

Pevlor said the building was a total loss.

"It looks like the building will have to come down," he said. "But the town had insurance, and I'm sure we will rebuild, maybe not on the same spot, but on the same lot.

"Besides our mowers, we lost a lot of hand tools, and a salt spreader was damaged badly, but we'll survive. A couple of people have already volunteered to loan the town some mowers to help until we can get everything settled, so we'll get by."

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