Update posted Friday, November 19 at 7:59 a.m.:
Thursday’s big fire at the JTS Plaza in Lawrenceburg has been ruled accidental.
Lawrenceburg Fire Chief Johnnie Tremain said there were fire departments from Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky that responded to the blaze that began in the Hope’s Light Thrift Store a little after 8:00 a.m.
Tremain credited fire walls from keeping most of the fire damaged limited to just one store at the strip mall.
Other businesses in the JTS Plaza did see some smoke damage and could reopen Friday.
Original story posted Thursday, November 18 at 1:35 p.m.:
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Area firefighters were able to keep fire damage limited to just one business at a Lawrenceburg shopping center Thursday.
A fire was touched off inside Hope’s Light Thrift Store at the JTS Plaza a little after 8:00 a.m., said Miami Township, Ohio Fire Chief Steve Ober, who was appointed as the public information officer at the scene. Fire and smoke was already billowing from the building when the first crews arrived.
Ober said the owner of the shop was inside at the time the fire began, but she was able to make it out safely. There were no other injuries.
At the fire’s peak, there were seven fire departments and 50 firefighters on the scene. The last of the flames were knocked down by 11:00. Firefighters remained on the scene as of 1:30 p.m.
Fire damage was contained to the thrift store, which was left black inside with no items spared by the flames and smoke. There was some smoke and water damage done to two neighboring businesses: Pirates Den Bar and a National Guard recruiting office.
“Smoke got throughout all the other businesses. We were able to evacuate the smoke. Most of those businesses will be in pretty good shape,” Ober said.
Some of those other businesses include Domino’s Pizza, The Jeweler’s Box, Zorba’s Gyros, Game Insane, and Jump In. City of Lawrenceburg Building Inspector Carl Fryman was on site reviewing the situation in each business and will determine when each could reopen.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Lawrenceburg Fire Department and the Indiana State Fire Marshal.
Ober said the owner of Hope’s Light was emotional following the fire.
“She’s really worried about the fact that this will cause a lot of heartache for a lot of people in the community. I tried to reiterate to her that she safely got out of the structure and buildings can be rebuilt,” he said.
The fire caused nearby U.S. 50 to be shut down for close to three hours Thursday morning, reopening at about 11:00 a.m. Ober said that the size of the fire required firefighters to use a second firehydrant located across the highway, rolling a fire hose across all five lanes.