Firefighter injured as fire damages former New Albany funeral home
The problems firefighters faced when they arrived at the house on State Street.
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- A firefighter was injured early Thursday while battling a fire at a former funeral home under renovation in New Albany.
The firefighter was sent to the hospital with a minor leg injury, and is expected to be OK.
The fire in the two-story turn-of-the century Baity Funeral Home on State Street was reported about 5:15 a.m. And firefighters say the age of the building made the fire very difficult to fight.
"Considering the age of the building, it's been a pretty tough fire to fight," said New Albany Battalion Chief Maj. Matt Bowyer.
The fire started in the attic and quickly spread through the floors and walls.
"It's due to the construction in the walls and floors, it's all hard wood so it's labor intensive," Bowyer said.
Bowyer says it took about 45 minutes to get the fire under control.
The historic building has been a staple on on State Street for years.
"The building itself was built back in 1910, there's a lot of history there," said Larry Conley one of the building's owners.
Conley says he bought the building with the intention of fixing it up and selling it.
"I've had several people call me, interested in buying it, and then this morning I get and call and it's on fire," Conley said.
The building was vacant when the fire started, and Conley says it has been vacant for a while. We're told the building can be salvaged, but for Conley it was a sad day.
"It's a beautiful building," Conley said. "I just fell in love with it when I first saw it. I just thought, what a unique building."
Although the building was vacant, Conley says the heat was on and he believes the fire could have been caused by an electrical issue. The exact cause is still under investigation.
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