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Midnight fire at Arnold/Firestone Building does heavy damage

Cause of fire not yet reported. Larry Smith, the WAVE 92.7, reports that there is smoke damage at the Harris Law Office, 202 Public Square, Columbia, KY. More details will be added as learned/received
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Photos by Donald Hare, Public Affairs Officer
From Columbia/Adair County Fire Department; text (c) ColumbiaMagazine.com

A fire at 11:20pmCT, Sunday evening, April 29, 2012, at the Arnold/Firestone Building, 200 Public Square, Columbia, KY, was brought under control at 2:40amCT this morning, Monday, April 30, 2012, after several units from the Columbia/Adair County Fire Department, including Ladder 1, aided by the Breeding Fire Department (See Breeding VAFD on site with 3 trucks, 12 personnel) were on the scene for a little over two hours.


The interior and roof of the building sustained heavy damage. The fire was prevented from spreading, but Larry Smith of the WAVE, FM 92.7, called to report there is also smoke damage in both floors of the Harris Law Office, adjacent to the building, at 204 Public Square.

Other units on the scene were two officers of Columbia City Police and Adair County District 6 Constable Jason Rector. Traffic control was handled by the Adair County Search and Rescue team.

All have left the scene with the situation being monitored by Columbia City Police.

The building was currently in the process of being remodeled for Farm2Furniture.com. Among businesses which have occupied the building over the years are Mitizi's, Susan Lynn's, Dollar General Store, the Columbia Firestone Store, Baldwin's Grocery, and Thomas E. Waggener's store - among others. Comments, additional information on the building would be appreciated. Use the Contact/Form with this story or any Contact/Submit button to submit.


This story was posted on 2012-04-30 03:09:16
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April 29/30, 2012 Firestone Building fire: Smoky Square



2012-04-30 - from 100 block of Jamestown Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Donald Hare.
Smoke billowed across the Adair County Courthouse Clocktower
in this scene as firemen reported to the scene of a fire reported at 11:20pmCT, Sunday night, April 29, 2012. The origin of the smoke was the Arnold/Firestone Building at 200 Public Square - corner of Burkesville Street and Public Square - which kept first responders on the scene for a little over two hours before the blaze was brought under control, with only Columbia Police Department monitoring the scene at 2:40amCT. - Photo by Donald Hare, Public Affairs Officer, Columbia/Adair County Fire Department

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Firefighters battle blaze on two floors/Arnold Building Fire



2012-04-30 - 100 Block, Burkesville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Donald Hare.
Firefighters were battlling 1st and 2nd Story blazes early in the effort to bring the fire under control. This scene is on the 100 Block of Burkesville Street. At far right, for perspective, is Ernie Rogers' Farm Bureau Building. The blaze was reported at 11:20pmCT, last night, Sunday, April 29, 2012. Firefighters left the scene at 2:40amCT. - Photo by Donald Hare, Public Affairs Officer, Columbia/Adair County Fire Department. Text (c) ColumbiaMagazine.com

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Ladder One moves into position, fire Downtown Columbia, KY



2012-04-30 - 200 Quadrant, Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Donald Hare.
Smoke filled the Downtown Public Square, Columbia, KY as the Columbia Fire Department's Ladder One moved into position. The fire was reported at 11:20pmCT Sunday night, with first responders staying until 2:40amCT, this morning, Monday, April 30, 2012. Columbia City Police continue to monitor the scene this morning. - Photo by Donald Hare, Public Affairs Officer, Columbia/Adair County Fire Department. Text (c) ColumbiaMagazine.com

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Midnight fire, Square, Columbia, KY under control



2012-04-30 - 200 Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Donald Hare, Adair County Fire Department.
Ladder One personnel surveyed roof damage and firemen checked second story conditions as firefighters complete their mission with the historic brick structure intact following the fire reported at 11:20pmCT, Sunday, April 29, 2011. Firefighters from Columbia and Breeding, Columbia City Police Officers, and Adair County SAR, Constable Jason Rector, left the scene at 2:40amCT, Monday morning, April 30, 2012, with Columbia Police continuing to monitor the the location after the fire was brought under control. - Photo by Donald Hare, Public Affairs Officer, Columbia/Adair County Fire Department. Text (c) ColumbiaMagazine.com

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T.E. Waggener operated store at 200 Public Square



2012-04-30 - 200 Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo from family album. Early business at 200 Public Square, site of April 29/30, 2012 midnight fire T.E. Waggener Store (the sign over the door says "Gill & Waggener" was located at the corner of Burkesville Street and the Public Square. The picture is believed to be from the 1914-1917 era. Standing in the doorway are, from left, Kathreen Willis (White), Mrs. Carl (Lula) Strange, and the proprietor, Thomas E. Waggener. T.E. Waggener was the father of the late Edwin Waggener, the grandfather of Columbia businessman Dan Waggener, and the great grandfather Columbia businessman Danny Waggener and Adair County Judge Executive Ann Melton. His birthday, April 26, is the same as a namesake, Thomas Waggener, owner of Main Street Bikes in Columbia, KY. The building has been, among other things, the Firestone Store, Susan Lynn's and later Mitzi's, and is currently owned by Dr. Ben Arnold. The poster in the window advertises a revival service with evangelist Weldon Greenfell. The identities of the two girls in the doorway have not been determined. Any help would be appreciated. CM would appreciate help locating photos of the historic buildings from other eras
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Columbia Street Dept. makes quick work of clean up



2012-04-30 - 200 Quadrant, Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Superintendent Donnie Rowe,
and the Columbia Street Department had debris cleaned from from the sidewalks around 200 and 204 Public Square by 6amCT, Monday morning, April 30, 2012, following the midnight fire which did heavy damage to corner building. A fire line is around 200 Public Square, where Farm2Furniture.com was ready to open a new business. The Harris and Gayle Williams law office is outside the Fire Line keeping the public out of the heaviest hit area, and access to 204 Public Square appears to be open for Monday morning business.

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New Sweeper speeds work on cleanup



2012-04-30 - 100 block Burkesville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener. Tim Smith of the Columbia Street Department makes a pass along the curb by the site of last night's Arnold/Firestone Building Fire with the City's newly acquired street sweeper, as Columbia Street Department Superintendent Donnie Rowe awaits a stop to plan the next step. Superintendent Rowe says the sweeper is one of the top pieces of equipment his department has ever acquired. The sweeper was acquired in a bank auction for $15,000. "We've been offered $25,000 for it," Mr. Rowe said, and added that a similar new one would cost over $60,000. Rowe said that the equipment really saves on payroll costs, too, but that the biggest advantage is that Columbia has really clean streets. The equipment is used on all streets with curbs, he said.
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Midnight fire: back of Arnold/Firestone Building



2012-04-30 - Columbia,KY - Photo by Rodney Thompson, Columbia/Adair County Fire Department.
When Firemen and police first arrived on the scene the situation looked pretty bleak, with fires raging on the Square level and on the top floor. This photo was taken from the 100 block of Burkesville Street, with Columbia Police on the scene blocking off the scene. Photo by Rodney Thompson, Columbia/Adair County Fire Department

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Interior of Arnold/Firestone building moderately damaged



2012-04-30 - 200 Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
It's charred ruins inside the Farm2Furniture store just days before owner Danny Reeves planned to open the unique business. The photo is taken through the side window, which displayed great clothing items as Mitzi's, and earlier, Susan Lynns. Old timers will remember the window for occasional furniture items and occasional overflow of Schwinn and Firestone bicycles, and great Columbia business names: Managers Jimmy Flowers (now of Edward D. Jones fame; a true Flowers boy- never far from Downtown Columbia), Howard Cheatham, Mr. Lambirth, and the many who worked there. The store was a political launching pad for Frank Nell, who went on to be elected Adair County Sheriff and Adair County Circuit Clerk after working as the financing manager there after World War II.

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Going aloft in Ladder One



2012-04-30 - Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo by Rodney Thompson, Columbia/Adair County Fire Department.
Mike Keltner and Chris Bragg are going aloft on the platform of Ladder One, with Charlie Crawhorn operating the turntable over the cab of the truck and Justin Bailey, not seen in the photo, operating the controls. On the truck bumper are two of three generations of Caldwell firefighters, Bobby Caldwell, left, and his grandson Bradley Caldwell (son of Billy Caldwell), right. In the center is Tommy Corbin, and, on the right, a group of Breeding Area Volunteer Firefighters (whose names we are in the process of getting.)

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