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Early raw video & fireground audio: Large fire in downtown Vincennes, Indiana takes out multiple buildings.

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Click here for a very brief earlier video

There was a fire reported in Vincennes, Indiana around 9:30 last night. Above is early video of the fire that spread to multiple exposures.

Photos above from Arthur Collins show early and late stages of the fire.

From MyWabashValley.com:

Officials say the fire at Old Gimble Corner Antiques on 2nd and Main Street started around 9:30 p.m.

There are reports that the fire has spread to several nearby buildings, and has collapsed one or more floors. No injuries have yet been reported.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • travis

    great photograpy it is a shame to lose all that history

  • Former Chief

    Difficult to comment based on what is seen in the video.  Maybe someone who was there can shed some light on initial conditions.  If, and this is a pretty big if, the fire was only in that store front on arrival, I think I would have tried to darken it down with a deckgun or a couple of 2 1/2" handlines.  Looks like a nice downtown area, It is a shame to see it destroyed.  Hope it can be restored, but that's questionable in these economic times.

  • Anonymous

    Put the wet stuff on the red stuff!

  • 95%er

    dave, can you search around and find the video of the first arriving engine pulling up directly opposite the burning store and dumping their deck monitor on to the fire. once i see how effective that was, then i'll be able to comment on the rest of the block burning down.
    oh…you say you don't have that video.
    i am shocked and mortified.
    nah….only kidding.

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  • mdff

    Put the wet stuff on the red stuff!

  • Truckie88

    Jeez, doesn't anyone pull a 2-1/2" line and hit heavy fire anymore? I can only go back to Brunacini's books – Big Fire needs Big Water!

  • Anonymous

    OUR LITTLE DISTRICT…. FIRST DUE.. LAY A 5" LINE, PULL THE PRECONNECTED 3"X200' BLITZFIRE MONITOR. SET IT UP WITH TWO MEN AND HAVE THE SECOND BEGIN A 360… A DETAILED 360.
    SECOND DUE TO THE REAR FOR A VARIETY OF TASKS… UTILITIES, MORE WATER SUPPLY, PULL A LINE, BIG TIME FORCE ENTY ETC.. ETC.. THRID ENGINE… LAY A LINE FOR THE AERIAL AND PRECLEAR AND AREA FOR ITS SET UP.

  • CHAOS

    Yeah, I wonder what downtown Vincennes would look like today if someone would have hustled and gotten some heavy streams in the front of that store immediately upon arrival.  It almost looked like the first arriving units were parking at the corners to set up fire breaks, expecting to burn down the block.  Would love to hear some word from Vincennes.

  • Asst. Chief A2

    I am somewhat familiar with this department. They are an all career Dept with 4 stations. They are a pretty aggressive department that sees a decent amount of fire for a city Vincennes’ size. One of their major hurdles is that (I believe) that they only run 2 men to a truck. Throw this in with the fact that each Station is literally blocked in to their territory my railroad tracks and you have a recipe for disaster. If I were a betting man, which I’m not, I would put a Ben Franklin on the fact that the fire was advanced far beyond what you see in the picture. If that was the brunt of the fire it would have surely been knocked down by first arriving crews. And for the comments about the 2 1/2 (A) it looks to me like there is a 2 1/2 being put in play in the pic (B) when you only put 8-10 guys on a job within the first 15min it’s hard to stop a fire in a strcture this size. From what I hear, there where at one time apartments in some of these buildings upstairs areas. When staffing is short it is either civilians lives or fire suppression. I will try to get ahold of a few people I know from there and see what I can find out to pass on. I am sure they are all getting some shut eye right now.

    • Former Chief

      Thanks for the additional info Asst. Chief.  I think I saw the stream you're referring to, but it looks pretty weak for a 2 -1/2".  Having only 2 on each apparatus is really unfair to those guys, but unfortunately, reality in a lot of areas.  If they are that short handed, maybe they should look into methods to put large capacity streams into service with only a couple of people.  My FD has had good success with a preconnected ground monitor (Blitzfire) that can pretty much be deployed by one Firefighter and the driver.  We can drop it in front of the building and be flowing 500gpm pretty quickly with only one person operating it.  I'm sure fire spread in those old buildings was a problem.  Let us know what other info you may get.

  • 95%er

    well you can hear from Vincennes, the radio transmissions are posted up above. take a listen. don't sound like anyone doing much of anything pro-active to stop this fire.
    generally it is very important to keep your cool while in command and doing communications.
    but i don't hear (or see) anything of any urgency in fighting this fire.

  • jm

    I am from the area and was monitoring this situation from the beginning.  The first call out was for a a possible structure fire 2nd and Main-Gimble Corner-Smoke coming from the building.  Responding fire crews were then adivsed that a second 911 caller reported smoke and fire coming from the rear of Gimble Corner.  Vincennes City fire crews made a quick response to the fire and reported light smoke coming from the front of the building with heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear.  They then espablished that the fire was coming from the basement and IC called for a shift call back for all Vincennes City Firefighters.  After a few minutes IC then called for Vincennes Township Fire Department to respond to scene with man power and apparatus.  I have also talked to a firefighter that was on scene in the rear of the building.  The fire had already taken substainsial hold in the rear.  They made an initial attack with a 2 1/2 inch line.  Almost immediatley the rear of the building collapsed.  Areial support from 4 neighboring departments was eventually called into help protect exposures and try and stop the fire. 
    Since the videos posted don't give the prospective on this fire I am hoping that this description will help fellow follower understand what this fire was like from the beginning. 

    • Former Chief

      Thanks jm, it always helps to have detailed information from someone there.  I was actually wondering if it was a basement fire that got a good head start.  From what you've heard that sounds like the case.  Hope everyone came out of it OK.  Again, it's a shame to lose what looks like a fairly nice downtown area.

      • Fire21

        In my town we have some old buildings downtown that have a common basement, separated only by locked wooden doors.  I'm wondering if Vincinnes downtown is similar.  That would somewhat explain the spread to other buildings and the difficulty in getting ahold of the fire.  A lot of times roofs are interconnected too.  What a shame that city governments expect too few firefighters to accomplish the impossible!

  • Jm

    No problem Former Chief.   It is very sad.  Vincennes has a very nice down town and these particular buildings were beautiful.  I hope they are able to rebuild this area.

  • Asst. Chief A2

    Former Chief, glad we could help. Any further info I have heard is from a facebook page called Gibson County Communique. One of the moderators of this page has taken several early pics of the story. One of his posts on the site refer to the initial attack attempts made by firefighters at the rear of the structure. Sounds like there initial attempts to be aggressive with a 2 1/2 that were hampered due to building collapse. I agree that a limp line like we see in the pic is not very effective….but that is what we get from still pics. I can only assume that those crews were later arriving companies setting up in front of the structure and the pic was taken just as they were preparing to charge the line. (trying to give them the benefit of the doubt)

  • Anonymous

    The video labeled as "Fire at Gimble's Corner store …." shows heavy fire blowing from the first floor onto the street, but apparently no smoke from or in any of the adjacent windows. Is that really a basement fire?

    • Fire21

      I've seen fires that started in the basement move to upper floors.  Haven't you?

  • jm

    Really anonymous are you going to question what you have read.  The guy that took both the photos and videos of this fire is a FF in a neighboring town.  He has a very good relationship with the Vincennes City Fire Department and they granted him access to the fire ground to document the fire.  He has stated to me and on his facebook page mentioned above what he seen.  When firefighters opened the back door to the structure they were met with heavy fire coming from the first floor and a stairwell leading to the basement.  He has a picture posted showing them attacking the fire through the door.  Fearing a collapse they backed up out of the collapse zone.  Soon after this the rear of the building collapsed.  There are a number of reasons as to why this fire spread so quickly so don't blame the firefighters on scene.  I have seen many comments on facebook about this fire and not one of them is negative towards the Vincennes City Fire Department ot any of the 4 departments that provided mutual aid.

  • FireGears

     
    Waterproof Boots … Check
    LDH .. Check
    1000s of gallons of plain water … Check
    Fire buildings burn down .. Check
    Exposures receives major damage .. Check
    WOW.!!!
    Sure don’t need any fire extinguishing additives
    to make plain water more effective!!

  • old man1

     Just another parking lot and tax  loss in Vincennes.

  • Facts

    This fire did not start in the basement is started in the storage area in the rear of the building,

  • Facts

    Why did the fire department turn off the water on the artist windows building and allow it to restart???