SCOTTSBURG, IN (WAVE) - Firefighters spent their Thursday morning surrounding a historic building that houses a dentist's office in downtown Scottsburg after an explosion.
The blast happened around 1 a.m., and the fire that resulted quickly spread from the dentist's office to another business and an apartment.
The fire damaged Dr. Joyce Coats' office and One Main Financial before engulfing a second floor apartment where the roof helped fuel the flames.
"Rubber roofing on top of multiple layers of old tar material made this [fire] especially difficult because of the combustible substance," Scottsburg Fire Chief James Richey said. Every time firefighters knocked down flames another flare up would halt their progress.
Investigators said the building may be a total loss, but firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to the town square's theater.
"Thankfully, we were able to save our theater," Richey said. "There's also an appliance store next door to it. Both were saved."
Five different fire departments worked to contain the five-alarm fire.
Richey said heavy black smoke was coming from the front of the building when he arrived on the scene.
"It was apparent that there was some type of explosion," Richey said. "The face of the building was laying out on the sidewalk. There was also heavy fire on the second floor level."
No one was inside the building when the explosion happened. There were no reports of injuries.
"We've been through a lot. Hate to see it happen. It's disturbing, but life is tough and you got to deal with the ups and downs," said Dr. Coats' husband Don Coats.
The fire forced the nearby Scott County Courthouse to operate on a two-hour delay on Thursday. The courthouse opened at 10:30 a.m.
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1115 Mt. Auburn Road
Evansville, IN 47720