Fire sweeps through Whiting business district

Fire sweeps through Whiting business district

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WHITING, Ind. (FOX 32 News) -

The shell of a business and several apartments were left after a fire tore thought it, Sunday afternoon.

"It was just amazing to see the flames. The flames were like 50 feet in the air. They actually had to move the fire truck out the way because it was so hot," Ed DePozo said.

Home video showed how quickly the fire grew out of control around 4p.m. Sunday in Whiting, Indiana.

Flames shot out of Lubia's Dress Shop on 119th and Sheridan and into the middle of the street.

"I didn't see no people get out of the building. I seen there was a couple of squad cars, there was people with no coats on inside the squad cars," DePozo added.

The Whiting Fire Chief said here were 10 to 12 apartments in the building. It was unclear how many people were inside, but officials believed all of them got out safely.

The chief spoke of how quickly this fire grew out of control.

"We pulled back out and then the explosion occurred where the front windows completely blew out. And then all of a sudden the fire started rolling up and a mushroom effect started inside the building," Whiting Fire Chief Gus Danielids said.

Residents stood by and watched as a well known building in downtown Whiting engulfed in flames.

"This building is a part of the landscape here. You know, I mean I come shopping here all the time in this area. They're mom and pop shops over here and I hate to see it go," DePozo said.

The fire chief said community leaders were helping the displaced residents. The American Red Cross was also assisting.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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