A fire destroyed five businesses in a strip mall Friday afternoon. The strip mall in Hunter Station which is listed as having a Sellersburg address, but is within Clarksville’s Fire Protection District near Ind. 60 caught fire about 2 p.m. The fire gutted the entire structure and it took firefighters more than two hours to contain the blaze.
Teresa Ball , with the Sellersburg Volunteer Fire Department, said 35 mile-per-hour winds contributed to the spread of the fire from the Farm Bureau Insurance location — where the fire is believed to have originated — on one end of the strip mall to the other end.
Along with Sellersburg’s Fire Department, the Clarksville Fire Department, Henryville Fire Department and Lafayette Township Fire Protection District responded to the call made at 2:07 p.m.
Terry Green and CJ Stidham, with Farm Bureau Insurance, said when they returned from lunch at about 2 p.m. they smelled smoke in the building and went outside to look around. They were about to head back into the building when Stidham believed he saw the source of the fire.
“I stepped out and looked up, and I noticed where our Farm Bureau sign is, underneath that looked like something was coming out of the attic area and I saw smoke,” he said.
They notified their co-workers, one of whom called the fire department and evacuated the office.
“By the time we called the fire department and they got here, I think it was already too late,” Stidham said.
Owner of Nance Floral Shop Sandy Nance said she wasn’t at work Friday, but received a call shortly after 2 p.m. and rushed to her business.
“I didn’t expect it to be this bad, but I guess the wind today wasn’t helping,” she said.
Nance said she was obviously upset about the floral shop burning down, but it was more important that everyone was able to evacuate the structure.
“We can redo this,” she said, optimistically.
The strip mall was also home to Papa John’s Pizza, Hunter Station Liquors and a chiropractor’s office.
Ball said there will be an investigation to determine what caused the fire.
No injuries were reported.