Demolition and rebuilding begins months after fires in Waterloo

Photo Courtesy: 1st Lt. Ben Parker with the Waterloo Fire Department.
Photo from a warehouse fire in Waterloo, Ind. from January 22, 2015.
Photo from a warehouse fire in Waterloo, Ind. from January 22, 2015.

WATERLOO, Ind. (WANE) Two large fires in Waterloo at the beginning of the year destroyed an antiques shop and a playground, but the town will soon get its landmarks back.

On Friday, demolition began on several buildings destroyed by fire from the Now and Then Shoppe, according to town manager Tena Woenker.  She said the antiques and collectables store was completely destroyed by fire, smoke and water damage. More than 100 firefighters from seven communities responded to help.

The town of Waterloo obtained possession of the property from the owner, who did not have insurance and could not pay for the clean-up. The owner, Virginia Bryant, was living on the property at the time, according to Woenker. She has since been charged with arson resulting in bodily injury after a firefighter received treatment for breathing difficulty from smoke inhalation.

Demolition on the antiques store is expected to take about two weeks.

A viewer sent NewsChannel 15 this picture of the playground fire.
A viewer sent NewsChannel 15 this picture of the playground fire.

Another large fire that destroyed the playground at Francis Thomson Memorial Park back in March is expected to be rebuilt in late September. Police said some boys created a fire pit that got out of control. The fire at the playground prompted many businesses, churches and community members to come forward and offer their aid. The town has asked that anyone wanting to help, both skilled and unskilled can sign up to volunteer online or at 260-837-7428.

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