Fire officials say wire in sign sparked massive fire
SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) -- Wiring inside an electric sign sparked a massive fired that destroyed several businesses at a southern Indiana shopping plaza, Sellersburg fire officials confirmed Sunday.
The fire that started in the wiring inside the Indiana Farm Bureau electric sign spread quickly Friday -- destroying at least five other businesses. High winds plagued firefighters who witnesses said lost control of the fire quickly.
The building is considered to be a total loss. On Sunday, the devastation and rubble became an attraction for Sunday motorists, who drove by to survey the damage themselves.
The brick structure is still intact. But in a word it's: "Destroyed, said Susan Martin. "Totally. We just wanted to come by and check it out."
Martin and her family were among the countless motorists who drove by Sunday.
Bill Cunliffe was there Friday when flames spread across the roof in a matter of minutes -- destroying several businesses in the process.
"The guys couldn't do much with it," Cunliffe said. "The wind was so strong. It started at this end and by the time I got here it went all the way down to the other end. Pretty intense."
The letters that once spelled out Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance lay behind a six-foot chain link fence.
"My friend owned the liquor store and his wife was in there at the time. She was able to get the laptop and her purse and that was about it and get out," Cunliffe said.
Beyond the liquor store and the insurance company -- several other businesses were destroyed including a Papa john's pizza where Martin and her family often ate.
"So hopefully they'll all be able to rebuild and fortunately I don't think anybody was hurt and that's a good thing," she said.
Ten people inside of the buildings on Friday were able to escape without injury.
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