PIQUA — The fire that destroyed a historic building in Shawnee on Friday had firefighters from Piqua busy into the evening hours on Saturday.
The former Piqua Fish & Ice building on Ohio Street was reported to be on fire around 4 p.m. Friday. All shifts from the Piqua Fire Department, along with Covington, and other neighboring departments, spent hours dousing the flames while minimizing damage to nearby structures.
The fire was the largest fire in Piqua since the mill fire on South Main Street in 2006. Firefighters had the fire knocked down within two hours but much work remained.
A trio of Piqua firefighters remained on the scene throughout Friday night, spraying water on still-burning areas and watching to insure that a major re-kindle was avoided.
By 7 a.m. Saturday morning, the fire watch was reduced to two firefighters. An unmanned nozzle kept a steady spray on one portion while the firefighters attended to hot spots. Smoke could be seen rising from several areas. Firefighters worked to move rubble to get at and extinguish hot spots.
Fire units cleared the scene around 5 p.m. but were called out twice within the next several hours as small areas continued to re-kindle. Firefighters were called back to the scene again Sunday as hot spots continued to rekindle.
Piqua fire investigator Jim Drieling said that the department, along with the State Fire Marshal’s office will begin their physical investigation today. The continued hot spots and potential danger of flareups kept investigators at bay over the weekend.
Several nearby homes and garages sustained damage due to the heat from the burning building.
Drieling said there is currently no speculation as to the cause of the fire and no estimate of damage.
One family, living in an apartment inside the structure was able to escape the flames.
There were no injuries reported.