Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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April 16, 2012

New Paris hardware store still open after fire

NEW PARIS — A fire destroyed the interior of an upstairs apartment and caused smoke and water damage to New Paris Farm Store & Hardware and a second apartment Saturday.

Elkhart County police reported they and firefighters were called to the apartments at 7:16 p.m. Saturday by Cari Schaefer, who reported the building was on fire. According to Fire Chief Joe Warstler, Assistant Chief Harvey Manges was driving by and also saw the smoke from the fire about the same time and called 911.

Warstler said the fire destroyed the rear apartment in the building while the front apartment suffered smoke and water damage. He said firefighters had the blaze extinguished in about an hour.

Norma Weaver, wife of hardware co-owner Fritz Weaver, said the store remains open. She said part of the store’s home and garden section was damaged by water and that the ceiling tiles fell in that section of the store due to the water.

“No one was hurt, that’s the main thing,” Weaver said Monday morning.

She said the fire marshal’s office has asked that the damaged section of the store be left alone for during the investigation into the cause of the fire.

Warstler said the fire was intentionally set and that the fire marshal’s office is investigating how it was set and who set it.

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