Rick Branstetter, right, and an unidentified firefighter with the Scipio-Geneva Township Volunteer Fire Department carry water hose into the doorway leading to the upstairs apartment at 9. S. Jennings St.—Staff Photos by Bryce Mayer
Firefighters quickly knocked down a blaze Tuesday night in downtown North Vernon but not before three buildings incurred damage.
While not nearly as destructive as the Fifth Street fire three-and-a-half years ago, the blaze still caused extensive damage. And a large number of spectators came out to watch the firefighters work on a unseasonably balmy night.
One of the structures, an old two-story brick apartment building at 9 S. Jennings St. where the fire started, is a total loss, according to North Vernon Fire Chief Mike Cole. The occupants safely got out of both apartment units, one upstairs and the other downstairs, but a dog perished in the upstairs apartment.
"When we got there, the back of that building was fully involved (with fire) and the flames had spread to the rear of another building (at 49 E. Walnut St.)," Cole said. "We made a good stop on the biggest part of the fire, but it took a good while to complete the work."
Fortunately, firefighters got to the fire before it spread to one of the storage rooms in the Walnut Street building containing a large amount of fireworks.
"That building has three compartments," Cole said. "The very back part of the rear compartment is where the fire reached. The center compartment contained a very large quantity of fireworks. We're extremely happy we got to the fire before it reached that part of the building."
While the tonnage of debris may be going down, the work continues unabated for the Friends of the Muscatatuck River Society (FMRS). According to Jerry Davis and other members, they are the friends forever of the river.
The Jennings County Economic Development Commission is "very proud" of its accomplishments in 2017, having seen new investment here surpass $57 million. When production estimates reach full strength, the investment is predicted to bring over 250 new jobs to Jennings.
A high honor for two North Vernon Police Officers killed in the line of duty is pretty much a "sure thing," says NV Mayor Mike Ochs.
Throughout his seven years working in North Vernon, Heros has been undergoing continuing education.
When Tom Moore recruited Dave Bishop and Delynne "Dee Dee" Wilson to perform during open microphone nights at the former Vernon Ale House nearly three years ago, it catapulted the duo to a magical musical adventure from what previously had been merely a hobby.
Ethan Brown, from left, Greyson Jackson and Carson McNulty of the Jennings County United Way's Youth Leadership class act out a skit utilizing positive peer pressure in which Brown and McNulty influence their friend to respect his girlfriend by not requesting that she text him inappropriate pictures. Among those watching are Angelina Deshong, in background at left, and Lilly Ernstes. The eighth graders are five of the 21 JCYL students that have monthly sessions throughout the school year.-Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer