----UPDATE Monday, March 8, 2010---
The Macomb Fire Department may never know the cause of the fire that destroyed a downtown building last Wednesday.
Fire Chief Andy Taylor tells KHQA, due to the massive damage in the basement where the fire started, the cause of the blaze is undetermined.
The department will leave the case open in case of new leads, but its expected to remain undetermined.
----UPDATE -- Thursday, March 4, 2010--
Macomb Fire Chief Andy Taylor say it may be quite awhile before we know what the cause was in the fire in that destroyed downtown Macomb building.
The structure is still smoldering and fire crews are still on the scene The State Fire Marshal was expected to arrive later this morning to begin his investigation.
Officials will center on the point of origin which is the basement of the Chelsea Hallmark building. The combustible materials in that building cause the fire to spread very quickly.
Both the Citizens National Bank and the Terrill Title Building received smoke and water damage.
The bank is open today but the teller windows will be closed.
No estimate on cost of damage.
---POSTED -- Wednesday, March 3, 2010--
For the second time in a decade, Macomb has lost a portion if it's town square to fire. Firefighters responded to a report of smoke coming out of Citizens Bank around 7:30 Wednesday night.
Once firefighters got there, they realized the fire was next door in Chelsea's Hallmark.
KHQA first got on the scene around 8:30 Wednesday night. Firefighters were battling a fire they couldn't see. There was only smoke coming out of the basement of Chelsea's Hallmark. But that soon changed. The fire grew as it consumed combustables that were inside the businesses. It took several hours to put the fire out, but firefighters remained on the scene throughout the night watching for hot spots.
When it was all said and done, Fire Chief Andy Taylor says Chelsea's Hallmark and Vision Consultants Ltd. were a total loss. Neighboring buildings on either side, Citizens Bank and Terrill Title Company took on smoke and water damage. Firefighters ran into some problems battling the blaze. Cold and icy conditions made for slippery pavement. Chief Taylor says there were also issues with equipment and manpower. Luckily the Macomb Fire Department had mutual aid agreements with neighboring departments. More than 50 firefighters from five departments came to help.
As you may remember, a restaurant and upstairs apartment were destroyed by fire in August of 2000.
That building was just north of the square.
Chief Taylor says all downtown buildings are inspected once a year for fire hazards.
The Fire Department plans to update the media Thursday morning at nine o'clock.
Stay tuned to KHQA and Connect Tristates for the latest.