In the early morning hours Monday, a fire started in the basement of the historical building in Tell City that housed Caper’s Restaurant.
At 1:30 am, a passerby noticed smoke coming from the building and notified police at the station right across the street.
By the time that firefighters with Tell City Fire Department arrived, the basement was fully engulfed and the fire was moving to the upper floors of the 3 story structure.
Firefighters were forced out shortly thereafter due to the excessive heat and flames. They fought the fire from outside of the building with three ladder trucks with high capacity water sprayers. One from Tell City, one from Cannelton and the third from Carter Township.
After several hours, the fire was under control but the building was a total loss. The first floor collapsed into the basement and flames gutted the remainder of the inside of the building.
Tell City firefighter and City Council President Gerald Yackle (Ya Klee) told WITZ News that the building is unstable so re-entering it is not a wise thing to do.
But in spite of that an attempt to find the source of the fire has been made. Yackle said, “The State Fire Marshall came in and him and Chief Linne went through the building and they’re still trying to determine the actual start of the fire.”
Given the condition, it’s not yet known if that information will be obtained.