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Shop destroyed by weekend fire


A Saturday evening fire left a shop building at Hippenhammer Body Shop on CR 150N destroyed, along with vehicles and damage to an adjacent building.

According to the LaGrange Fire Department Chief Matt Huffman, the department was dispatched to the business shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday night.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they found that the main body shop was heavily involved with fire visible on the south end of the 60’x120’ building and the fire had already advanced into the center portion of the building.

Firefighters worked to contain the fire and managed to stop its progress before it reached the north end of the building, which houses the body shop’s paint mixing room and associated chemicals. While that section of the building had no fire damage, it still suffered extensive smoke and water damage.

Firefighters brought the fire under control in about two hours, Huffman said, with firefighters staying on scene until after 3 a.m. to put out hot spots and start the investigation.

No one was injured in the fire.

The LaGrange Fire Department had seven trucks and 18 firefighters working on the fire and was assisted by the Howe Fire Department, who provided five trucks and 11 firefighters.

Assisting at the scene was LaGrange County EMS and the LaGrange County Highway Department, which spread sand on the roadway that was turning icy due to water being hauled by tanker trucks into the scene.

The Topeka Fire Department assisted with the investigation, which is ongoing. No cause has been determined as of press time Monday morning.