Newburgh shopping center catches fire overnight - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Newburgh shopping center destroyed by overnight fire

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Newburgh Fire Department Newburgh Fire Department
They say more than 60 firefighters helped put out the blaze. They say more than 60 firefighters helped put out the blaze.
Fire officials say around nine businesses were lost in the fire. Many of those businesses, like The Rug Gallery, were prepared for Small Business Saturday. It's a huge loss of surplus inventory. Fire officials say around nine businesses were lost in the fire. Many of those businesses, like The Rug Gallery, were prepared for Small Business Saturday. It's a huge loss of surplus inventory.
Crews on scene working to put out all the hot spots. Crews on scene working to put out all the hot spots.
Our crew on scene talked to a couple who was planning on opening a business in this spot. The kitchen is the only thing left standing and the couple is shocked. Our crew on scene talked to a couple who was planning on opening a business in this spot. The kitchen is the only thing left standing and the couple is shocked.
NEWBURGH, IN (WFIE) -

A shopping center in Newburgh went up in flames in the early hours of Saturday morning.

A fire started in the Sharon Place shopping center that's located at State St. and Sharon Rd.  around 2:00 a.m. early Saturday morning. Newburgh fire crews say flames were shooting from the roof when they responded to the three-alarm fire.

Fire officials say nine businesses and a church were lost in the fire.  Some of the businesses in the center were Don's Cleaners, The Rug Gallery, Tan Evolution, Egan's Gallery, Make Time to Create, Culinary Solutions, Newburgh Learning Center, Girlfriends Boutique, Mitchell Art Academy and Clay Studio, and River Ridge Church of Christ.

"It was horrific," said Mike Kishline with the Rug Gallery of Newburgh "The whole place was just engulfed in flames."

Kishline was one of the first to find out about the fire and shot this video of his two year old business going up in flames.

"I knew no one was going to have anything left," he said.

The fire began around 2:00 a.m. at Sharon Place.

"One of the Newburgh City Police Officers was driving by and actually saw the fire coming from this building here at Sharon and State Street and called it in," said Newburgh Assistant Fire Chief Chad Bennett.

More than 60 area firefighters fought to control the blaze for more than three hours. Bennett says they believe the fire started in the center of the building and quickly spread in both directions, destroying eight businesses and the River Ridge Church of Christ.

"There was a message from the owner and Stan said, 'Chuck, you might want to come there might be something salvageable,' there was nothing salvageable, we got down here it was all burnt," said minister Chuck Bartlett.

Minister Bartlett says one of their biggest losses are pews that were donated from another church, more than 100 years old. But he says his people are the church and they will find a different place of worship for Sunday.

"Everyone is safe and that's the main thing, but these companies, they had a lot of inventory in stock, it's their livelihood and our hearts just go out to them we just feel so bad for them," Bartlett said.

"This was a booming strip mall, everyone was doing very well," Kishline said.

Kishline says his own business was seeing a boost of 352% from last October and 92% over the last year. This holiday season looked promising.

"I was planning on a banner December," he said.

The Rug Gallery of Newburgh owners says he was preparing for a big year with a large amount of inventory now $900,000 worth of rugs are destroyed.

"I had never had the amount of inventory that I had in my store," Kishline said. "It is a total loss."

Business owners are just hoping customers stay with them as they rebuild.

Mike Kishline says he is expecting two large shipments and will be updating Facebook.

For many of this businesses in Sharon's Place, the holiday season is their biggest profit of the year.

For more pictures of the fire and damage, click here for a slideshow.

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