2nd fire destroys another historic Shelbyville building


by Gene Kang


Posted on April 29, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 29 at 8:10 PM

SHELBYVILLE, Ky -- Downtown Shelbyville is littered with damaged buildings after yet another fire.

The Chatham House was being renovated when it caught fire Sunday morning, causing heartache to the community.

Elisabeth Roby captured video of the fire on her smartphone.  Flames were seen going through the roof of the historic Shelbyville building.

"I was crying don't get me wrong. Me and my kids were crying because that is something that shouldn't be destroyed like it is," said Roby.

Now, it is just shattered glass, piles of rubble. It's another eyesore in the small town and another historic building in ruins.

"We were in church and we got a text that The Chatham House was on fire," said Dr. Raymond Lohr.

Lohr's dental office is only a couple feet from the building in the 600 block of Washington Street. His office will be closed for a couple days as clean-up continues.

It took 60 firefighters to contain the fire that destroyed the second floor Sunday around 10:00 a.m..

"It was an aggressive attack and the main emphasis was protecting the exposures," said Shelbyville's Assistant Fire Chief, Chris Spaulding. "Building's been around here since we've grown up."

Last month, flames ripped through historic Main Street. Fiesta Mexicana restaurant, Creative Spirits Counseling, a thrift shop and several apartment units are now gone.

Both blazes started in buildings that were being renovated. The exact causes are still undetermined, but firefighters have ruled out arson.

One thing is certain, the buildings dating back to the early 19th century can never be replaced.

"They clearly provide a face for the community and how downtown provides a backdrop and avenues of commerce. So they're really important and Shelbyville is fortunate to have what they have. If they didn't have it, it would be a totally different place," said Shelbyville Historic District Coordinator, Fred Rogers.

The building's owners are waiting for insurance settlements and investors to help. They would like to rebuild Downtown Shelbyville.

Click here for a look at photos from the March fire.