MOUNT VERNON — A basement fire early this morning at 201 S. Main St. spread throughout the building as firefighters from Knox County fought the blaze.



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5 Responses to “Fire damages downtown building”

  1. Ken Reeder

    I remember seeing photos in the family album of Dad, R. Milton REEDER, standing near the building after a fire had been extinguished in the Mount Vernon Post Office that occupied the corner later occupied by Kresge, and before it moved to the “new” Post Office on West High. Perhaps that was the reason for the records that indicate the building was built in 1930’s.

  2. David Spain

    The fire in this building shows the value of automatic sprinklers, especially as a retrofit in older downtown buildings from the basement up to the top floor. New construction, such as out on Cochocton Avenue should have them installed via the Ohio Fire and Building Codes. The fact that this fire was confined to one building is based on two facts, the building was on the corner, and the tenacity and strategy and tactics of the MTFD and the mutual aid fire fighters. Good job all!

  3. David Spain

    Basement fires in downtown buildings are really tough to control. They say a separater in fire fighting is when you have to go below grade, meaning it takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to go down into the bowels of the fire since it can be so hot and smokey down in there. Sometimes the best thing to do is put several holes in the roof at least 4′ x 4′ and then use special pike poles they’re called to force down the ceiling. It will lift the smoke and heat from the structure, and cause conditions to lesson in the basement, especially if the fire is traveling up from the basement via open spaces in the walls. Once the fire gets away from yeah, it’s tough to catch up. The Assistant Chief and the MTFD gave it a good try.

  4. Gene Sievert

    My dad was one of the last managers when Kresge was in the building (1951-1963). I remember the building well as my father would take me to work and put me to work so that I could “understand the business”. Most of the time, that meant working in the basement stock room, checking freight and putting it in the many bins in the basement. During inventory, I was brought back to help counting, mostly in the basement. The basement was filled with racks 8 feet high, had 4 foot aisles and only dimly light. If the fire started in the basement, it would be hard to fight.

  5. Chris H.

    Thank God, We have had no Loss of life. Great Job to all those who Responded.

    I can remember growing up and enjoying my shopping trips to the S.S. Kresges store and anticipating getting the Submarine sandwiches at the deli.
    I hope all those who had business’s and property there are taken care of. The City owes not only a Debt of Thanks to our Great Fire Department’s Personnnel, The Mount Vernon City Police Department, and the Various Outstanding Knox County Communities and thier Fire Depts. The Volunteer Departments and Our Neighboring Counties For thier support.

    A Great Big Thank You to ALL those who Responded and will respond in kind to help the Mount vernon Community in the Sad time.