Historic building in downtown Sheridan destroyed by large fire

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Several fire departments rushed to Sheridan to help put out a huge fire along 4th and Main Streets Saturday night.

Two Sheridan Police officers were inside the building doing a search when firefighters rescued them out a back window, when they were overcome by smoke.  They weren't injured in the fire.

The historic three-story building was the home of Main Street Power Mail and the tallest building in Sheridan, which dates back more than 120 years.  Four tankers for water were being used at the scene to fight the fire.  Power was out in that area of downtown Sheridan.

"You would have thought half the town was fire the way it was rolling out of there. And the smoke. It was terrible," Lifelong resident Ivan Emry said. "I've lived here for 74 years. Born and raised here."

He has a lot of memories inside the brick building.

"Oh gosh. As a kid, we used to buy all of our school clothes there when it was Weaver's," he said.

He hangs on to a photo back when it was The Golden Rule. It's just one of many chapters in its history.

"I bought the building in 1975 and basically it's the roots of Godby Home Furnishings," Jim Godby said Sunday.

For Godby, the appreciation of this building -- and community -- runs deep.

"I was here last night seeing it burn and I had to come back this morning. It's tough because I love Sheridan, Indiana. It's my hometown," he said.

Sunday he paused to reflect.

"You base certain things on different stages of your life and this was a starting point for Godby Home Furnishings 40 years ago and now that first 15 years of our business is gone," Godby said. "Like a lot of small town America, it's going to be tough to replace something like that."

The historic building will have to be torn down and due to the structural instability of the shell that remains, the roads around it will be closed while crews work to tear it down and clean up the debris.

As of Sunday afternoon, investigators had not been able to make it inside to begin looking for clues as to what started the fire.