An Indiana State Fire Marshall inspection indicates an electrical short caused the fire at the AMVETS Post 2000 last week in Bloomington. Van Buren Fire Chief Chuck Hill says the fire was caused by a wire running up a wall behind a cabinet near the bar.
“That wire shorted out and started the fire. And when the gentleman who thought he’d seen smoke coming through the vents opened up the door, he allowed the oxygen to get into the building which accelerated the fire and caused severe damage,” Hill said.
Though the fire caused extensive damage to the buildings, none of the AMVET employees or patrons were injured, although five firefighters were sent to the hospital for treat heat exhaustion. AMVETS Post 2000 Commander Jon Bowman says a building engineer will determine whether the big building is salvageable or if they will need to build two new buildings.
“The initial shock’s over and now we’re really gung-ho to get this thing started and get it back in motion,” Bowman said.
Bowman is finalizing details with AMVETS insurance company. Then, he says they will decide whether to remodel or rebuild the building. In the meantime, AMVETS members are holding their regular meetings outside on their picnic tables or inside their equipment shed during unfavorable weather.