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Fire and cleaning crews remain after massive fire in downtown LaGrange

LaGrange Fire// Cassidy Williams WSBT 22

People in LaGrange are cleaning up after a massive fire downtown. Firefighters have been on scene at Detroit Street for more than 30 hours.

There is now a pile of rubble where a Family Dollar store once stood. Gould's Sporting Goods is also a total loss.

The fire was so big Tuesday that smoke covered almost all of Detroit Street.

Business owners are now working to get LaGrange back up and running.

A cleaning crew carrying fans and wiping down walls worked all day Wednesday to get the smell out of Chicago Joe's.

"It's awful for LaGrange. I mean we have a small town, and we need every business here and everybody is just extremely sad,” said Cheryl Albergo.

Albergo opened Chicago Joe's with her husband.

"We moved from Chicago and decided to come to a small town and live simpler. My husband wanted to bring Chicago food, give them all a taste of what we grew up and loved,” she said.

For now, the Italian beef sandwiches will have to wait. But first responders are not going hungry.

The entire community has come to together to help rebuild-- including bringing food, water, and supplies to the volunteer firefighters.

"Without asking, all of that just arrived and I cannot thank those folks enough,” said Fire Chief Dave Elick.

In Lagrange, a fire of this size affects almost everyone.

"Everybody's a family. We're a small town. We all know each other,” said Albergo.

She is confident Chicago Joe's and Lagrange will be back in business soon.

There are apartments above some of the businesses.

Cleaning crews are focusing on those areas first so people can move back in as soon as possible. It's still not clear what caused the fire

Investigators from the State Fire Marshall’s office have been in the area throughout the day.


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