The Herald Bulletin

July 14, 2013

Fire partially collapses roof at former wrecking service

By Dani Palmer
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. —

Anderson firefighters battled a large blaze at a former wrecking company Sunday afternoon that required a second visit later in the day.

Around 1 p.m. Sunday, firefighters arrived at what served as Twin Service Wrecking Co., 200 W. First St., from the early 1970s to 2008 to investigate reports of smoke.

An employee at Lee's Anderson Wrecking Service (AWS) across the street reported hearing a loud boom.

It was a fully involved fire on the north side of the empty building that firefighters found, Anderson Fire Department Battalion Chief Gary Condon said.

To get more engines and a ladder in position to fight the blaze from above, he said, firefighters had to break down a fence. Another ladder was placed in front of AWS, 305 W. First St., to "cut it off."

Condon added that they brought the fire under control in about an hour and contained it to the north side of the building, where the roof collapsed.

Around 5 p.m., AFD was called back out to the scene and found flames in the south corner of the building. 

Condon said one team fought it from the inside while another cut a hole in the roof to hit it from above. "Fire can jump from one end to another" with the wind, he added.

Condon said the Anderson Fire Department went out to assess the building, already in a state of disrepair, a few months ago to preplan for the possibility of a fire.

Although a cause for the blaze hasn't been established yet, Condon said the department has found squatters or kids playing around in empty buildings before.

According to records, Dannie Moreland operated Twin Service Wrecking until he was hospitalized in December 2008. The building was then used as Anderson Towing and Recovery for a short time.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.

Like Dani Palmer on Facebook and follow her @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.