Residents of the Harrison House in downtown Corydon listen to Harrison Township Assistant Chief Jeremy McKim last Tuesday night after a fire started in the second floor of the building, which was built in the mid-1920s. The Indiana State Fire Marshal investigated the scene and has not yet ruled on a cause for the fire.
More than two dozen people were displaced last week after a fire broke out in the second floor of the Harrison House, a concrete two-story building located along Oak Street in downtown Corydon.
Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 9:58 p.m. last Tuesday and arrived a few minutes later to put out the fire.
The fire was contained to what residents of the apartment building described as a storage room.
Darrell Conrad, who owns the building, said that the building, when it opened as a hotel in the mid-1920s, was described as "one of the nicest around."
"They got (the fire) put out pretty quick," Conrad said.
The building's occupants, several who said the upper-level hallway was full of smoke, were rushed out by fellow occupants and Corydon Police Chief Jim Kendall and Officer Todd Stinson. Firefighters from Harrison Township, Heth Township and Ramsey volunteer fire departments quickly put out the fire, and the building was closed for a short time until the structure was deemed safe to re-enter (due to water damage).
Several residents told firefighters at the scene they needed personal items such as clothing and medication from their rooms, so they were escorted into the building one at a time to obtain the items before the structure was closed for the night.
The American Red Cross was on site to help occupants find housing for the night, and a shelter was established at First Capital Christian Church in Corydon for those who needed a place to stay.
Harrison County Animal Control Officer Bruce LaHue went to the scene and housed a dog and a cat that are owned by two residents of the Harrison House.
The Indiana State Fire Marshal investigated the cause of the fire the following day, and residents were allowed to go back into the Harrison House, which was still without electricity. Power has since been restored.