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5 alarm fire at old Dodge foundry in Mishawaka last night

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  • 5 alarm fire at old Dodge foundry in Mishawaka last night

    Beginning late last evening Mishawaka lost a somewhat historic building. Fire broke out in the former Dodge/RMG foundry building at 500 Union st. and 9th. Mishawaka fire crews first responded from the Union St. station (which thankfully is literally in the front yard of the foundry building.) With heavy wind conditions last night the fire quickly spread and turned into a 5 alarm inferno. All Mishawaka units were called to the scene which was so big that they had to call in Clay Twp. pumpers for backup. Things were still getting out of hand and South Bend Quint 1 and Quint 7 (arial rigs) units arrived. As of 22:45 the biggest part of the building was completely burned out and was basically a shell, but knocked down to about a 2 alarm fire. The roof caved in and walls gave way. The foundry has been out of operation since 2006 but was currently used for storage. In total roughly 200-300 cars, boats, and RVs were destroyed. It is estimated the building is a total loss. In the buildings heyday during WWII Dodge Mfg. Co. produced parts for B-17 Bomber engines that ultimately went to Studebaker for assembly. This is a huge loss for history buffs everywhere. Cause of the fire is yet to be determined. Mishawaka fire chief says this is in the top five worst fires he has ever commanded in his thirty plus year career.
    Chris Dresbach

  • #2
    Rats! 'Hate to see losses like this, especially both the building and vehicles stored inside.

    Thanks for the info, Chris. (I know you are a fire buff; were you "on the scene?") BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
      Rats! 'Hate to see losses like this, especially both the building and vehicles stored inside.

      Thanks for the info, Chris. (I know you are a fire buff; were you "on the scene?") BP
      I went there for a little while, but didn't get up close and personal with it.
      Chris Dresbach

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      • #4
        Here's another photo. Taken at about 20:00, courtesy of WSBT.
        Chris Dresbach

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        • #5
          Update on the scene: All fire are completely out but the zone is being closely watched by the Mishawaka station in front of the building. However even with all working fires out, the carnage is still extremely hot and it is estimated that the inspectors won't be able to enter the scent until March 4th at the soonest. Part of the twisted frame work will have to be demolished before inspectors will be able to enter, and that may take a few days. Still no word on the cause of the fire. That's the word as of 22:30 2/14/13.
          Chris Dresbach

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