Fire hits Tipp store


By Cecilia Fox - [email protected]



Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News A fire rekindled early Tuesday morning at Browse Awhile Bookstore, 118 East Main Street, downtown Tipp City early Tuesday morning.


Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Tipp City Fire crews work to douse a blaze early Tuesday morning at Browse Awhile Bookstore, 118 East Main Street, downtown Tipp City early Tuesday morning.


Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News A fire rekindled Tuesday morning at Browse Awhile Books on East Main Street in downtown Tipp City from an earlier Monday fire.


Cecilia Fox | Troy Daily News Fire crews work to ensure the blaze that destroyed Browse Awhile Books in Tipp City is completely extinguished.


Throughout the years

Built in 1871, the McConnaughey-Young Building has housed many businesses throughout its long life.

The building is a fixture of the Old Tippecanoe Main Street Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to the Tippecanoe Historical Society, the building began its life as a harness shop not long after it was built. The building was named for the builder, a Mr. McConnaughey, and the owner of the harness shop, a Mr. Young, Gordon Pittenger of the historical society said.

In 1898, it became a hardware store, which changed hands several times throughout the decades. Sam Baldwin owned the hardware business from 1906 until he died in 1951. For a number of years, a barbershop occupied the space above the store.

After the death of another owner, the hardware store became a bakery owned by the Fite Family.

In 1978, James Gagnet opened Old Tippecanoe Colors, a paint and home decorating store.

“He’s the one that restored it back to what it looked like in the old days,” Pittenger said. “He restored several other buildings in town.”

In the 1980s, the building was home to an insurance agency and the Tippecanoe Frontier Trading Company.

The building has been home to Browse Awhile Books since 1990, which specialized in hard to find, out of print, used, and rare books.

Also the headquarters of Tipp City Paranormal, in recent years, the building has been featured on ghost hunting tours and television programs.

TIPP CITY — Following a fire that destroyed a downtown Tipp City business and displaced residents, local businesses and organizations are coming together to help.

Fire crews were called to Browse Awhile Books in the Old Tippecanoe Main Street Historic District twice, the first time around 10 p.m. Monday night. The fire rekindled, and crews were called out again early Tuesday morning.

Owner Bill Jones told the fire department that an estimated $1 million in inventory was damaged or destroyed in the blaze, officials said. The store specialized in hard to find, out of print, used, and rare books.

Residents of the upstairs apartments lost all of their belongings, as well as a pet cat.

Faulty electrical wiring is the likely cause of the fire, officials said.

Three people were taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation, including one firefighter.

In the wake of the fire, the community is coming together to help those affected.

The Downtown Tipp City Partnership created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the business owners for any costs beyond what insurance will cover, as well as the residents of the upstairs apartments.

“We have a strong, tight-knit community that I know will rally behind our downtown owners and residents in their time of need,” DTCP Director Heather Dorsten wrote on the page.

To donate or learn more about the fundraiser, visit www.gofundme.com/2aj74ptp.

Another downtown business, That Place On Main, is accepting donations of clothing, furniture and other household goods to help the residents displaced by the fire. The store has access to a warehouse, where they are offering to store donations.

“This is such a small community, everyone here is pretty much like family. We’re all hurting because they are,” store employee Rachel Dillahunt said. She added that a tab has been started at Harrison’s Restaurant for those residents.

A married couple and another man lived in the two apartments above the bookstore. Those residents lost everything.

“It just seems like the least we can do. We’re a small community and we all come together. This is tragic,” That Place On Main owner Jen White said.

To find out more about donating items, visit the Facebook pages of That Place On Main,www.facebook.com/That-Place-on-Main-861784027173385, and the Downtown Tipp City Partnership, www.facebook.com/DowntownTippCityPartnership.

A connected structure, housing clothing store Merchant31, was also damaged by smoke and water.

“We are sad to announce that our building was affected by the secondary fire that flared up early this morning,” the Merchant31 Facebook page posted Tuesday morning. “We ask that you pray for the tenants living upstairs at Browse A While books who have lost everything.”

The building housing the bookstore was built in 1871. The Old Tippecanoe Main Street Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Media affiliate WDTN contributed to this report.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News A fire rekindled early Tuesday morning at Browse Awhile Bookstore, 118 East Main Street, downtown Tipp City early Tuesday morning.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_160621aw_Browse_Awhile_0562-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News A fire rekindled early Tuesday morning at Browse Awhile Bookstore, 118 East Main Street, downtown Tipp City early Tuesday morning.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Tipp City Fire crews work to douse a blaze early Tuesday morning at Browse Awhile Bookstore, 118 East Main Street, downtown Tipp City early Tuesday morning.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_160621aw_Tipp_fire_0554-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Tipp City Fire crews work to douse a blaze early Tuesday morning at Browse Awhile Bookstore, 118 East Main Street, downtown Tipp City early Tuesday morning.

Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News A fire rekindled Tuesday morning at Browse Awhile Books on East Main Street in downtown Tipp City from an earlier Monday fire.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_160621aw_Tipp_fire_0567-1.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News A fire rekindled Tuesday morning at Browse Awhile Books on East Main Street in downtown Tipp City from an earlier Monday fire.

Cecilia Fox | Troy Daily News Fire crews work to ensure the blaze that destroyed Browse Awhile Books in Tipp City is completely extinguished.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_fire-1.jpgCecilia Fox | Troy Daily News Fire crews work to ensure the blaze that destroyed Browse Awhile Books in Tipp City is completely extinguished.

By Cecilia Fox

[email protected]

Throughout the years

Built in 1871, the McConnaughey-Young Building has housed many businesses throughout its long life.

The building is a fixture of the Old Tippecanoe Main Street Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to the Tippecanoe Historical Society, the building began its life as a harness shop not long after it was built. The building was named for the builder, a Mr. McConnaughey, and the owner of the harness shop, a Mr. Young, Gordon Pittenger of the historical society said.

In 1898, it became a hardware store, which changed hands several times throughout the decades. Sam Baldwin owned the hardware business from 1906 until he died in 1951. For a number of years, a barbershop occupied the space above the store.

After the death of another owner, the hardware store became a bakery owned by the Fite Family.

In 1978, James Gagnet opened Old Tippecanoe Colors, a paint and home decorating store.

“He’s the one that restored it back to what it looked like in the old days,” Pittenger said. “He restored several other buildings in town.”

In the 1980s, the building was home to an insurance agency and the Tippecanoe Frontier Trading Company.

The building has been home to Browse Awhile Books since 1990, which specialized in hard to find, out of print, used, and rare books.

Also the headquarters of Tipp City Paranormal, in recent years, the building has been featured on ghost hunting tours and television programs.

Reach Cecilia Fox at [email protected] or (937) 552-2205.

Reach Cecilia Fox at [email protected] or (937) 552-2205.

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