At approximately 12:30 am on June 25, 2022, Spencer Police Officer Scott Garing was responding to another call when he saw a small fire. The fire was in the old realty building near Creative Flowers & Gifts, on College Street. The rapidly spreading fire quickly grew, threatening the Van Buren County 911 Center.
Before fire departments arrived on scene, the fire had spread to Creative Flowers & Gifts. The realty building was fully engulfed when the first units arrived on the scene. The flower shop had significant spread.
Spencer Fire and Rescue and Piney Volunteer Fire Department were the first units to arrive. They focused on stopping the spread of the fire to the Van Buren 911 building and cooling the fire.
Fall Creek Falls Volunteer Fire Department, Cedar Grove Fire Department, and Rocky River Fire Department also responded as automatic aid.
White County was contacted for mutual aid. Doyle Volunteer Fire Department, Sparta Fire Department, Hickory Valley Volunteer Fire Department, and Central View Volunteer Fire Department responded with trucks and manpower.
Dunlap Fire Department also responded with an engine and manpower.
A large telephone line was burned and another was heavily damaged. Phone service for the area was down. All 911 calls for Van Buren County had to be routed to White County 911 until Ben Lomand Telephone could repair the line. Caney Fork Electric also responded to the scene to inspect lines.
Crews were on scene until 7 a.m., June 25, working to get the fire extinguished and the hose and equipment loaded.
Piney Volunteer Fire Department extended thanks to Randy Oakes, with the Van Buren Highway Department, for bringing a mini-excavator to help move tin and remove damaged, unstable walls.
There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is being investigated and was considered suspicious.
Also responding to the scene were Van Buren County Sheriff Department and Van Buren County Emergency Medical Service.
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