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Two fires in downtown Christopher under investigation

CHRISTOPHER (WSIL) — Investigators continue to search for the cause of Sunday’s early morning fire that left one firefighter dead, but that’s not the only fire on Market Street in Christopher under investigation. 

Police are still investigating a fire from October 31, 2018 in the 100 block of Market Street near the intersection of Market and Route 148. Sunday’s fire happened just steps away on the corner of Emma and Market Street. 

Jordan Flatt owns a salon on Market Street, next door to the old Christopher Office Furniture Store, the building that burned in Sunday’s fire. It is nearly a total loss.

"I was just going ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh’," Flatt said. "It was just terrible and awful."

Currently Jordan is cutting hair a couple stores down at Shear Design because she said her store was heavily damaged inside. 

"Honestly, it doesn’t look that bad, it’s covered in smoke and the smell is awful so they have to get everything and take everything out," Flatt said. 

During the Sunday morning fire, 24-year-old Kody Vanfossan died while fighting the blaze on the second story. 

"We can rebuild and it could be a lot worse," Flatt said. "You know the Vanfossan’s loss their son and I don’t have anything as bad as what they are dealing with."

Months before this fire, another fire on the same block caused a building to collapse

Christopher Fire Chief Ron Learned said these major fires are hard on his team of volunteer firefighters, "It’s a struggle for a small fire department to deal with something like that." 

People lived inside that building, but no one was hurt.

As for business owners like Flatt, she said losing two buildings in downtown area is a huge loss for Christopher. 

"We all are trying to save these buildings, the ones that own the buildings, most of us try to keep them going and try to make Christopher better for our community," Flatt said. 

Flatt said she does not plan on moving her business from Market Street, "Market Street is where I belong. I love my neighbors and everyone on Market Street is just wonderful."

Caution tape and barriers remain at the fire scene at the corner of Emma and Market Street. 

Christopher Police Chief Bill Southard said residents can expect to see that area blocked off while the investigation continues.

News 3

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