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MILLTOWN, Ind. (WDRB Fox 41) -- A southern Indiana landmark was destroyed by a fire early Monday morning.
Blue River Cafe stood in the heart of Milltown, serving locals and tourists from all over. Located in a post-Civil War building, it has survived a lot from Mother Nature - storms and floods. On Monday morning, a fire destroyed more than a place to eat; it took the heart and soul of a town.
Milltown may just be a tiny stop in Indiana, but when you came, you always stopped at the Blue River Cafe.
"Even if you didn't feel like going out to eat, you came here because you always saw people that you knew," says a Milltown resident who watched firefighters put out hot spots on the restaurant Monday.
Earlier in the day, a fire gutted this 250-year-old building. Owner Debbie Woods remembers the 7am phone call from the mini-mart across the street.
"When I arrived, just the back part was on fire. The flames were coming out on the roof and out of the walls in the back. Within 10 minutes, there were flames coming out of the top," says Woods.
"By the time we got the power company over here so we could safely attack through the front it had worked its way to the front of the building," says Milltown Fire Chief Scott Dubois.
Built in the 1860's for a men's social club, it's been everything from a dance hall to a paint store, and as the owners changed over the years, the building always remained a centerpiece for the community.
"We're a small community, we loose one, it's like a losing a family member," says Chief Dubois.
And just when the Woods thought all was lost, one of the firemen brings out an old picture of the Blue River Cafe. Though there's a crack in the frame, the picture is almost untouched.
"This is the building in 1870," says Mark Woods. "These other buildings are gone and now it's gone. Isn't that weird, the whole room is black and this is in their glowing and I just think that is really strange.
The Indiana State Fire Marshal has yet to determine a cause for the fire. As for the Woods, they haven't decided if they plan to rebuild.
The Blue River Cafe was just gearing up for a busy tourist season. Troubadours of Divine Bliss, a music act who performed at the cafe, will host an all day benefit concert in Milltown to raise money for the employees who are now out of jobs.