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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Fire hits historic Frankfort railroad roundhouse

The former Nickel Plate Roundhouse had fallen into disrepair over the years.
Credit: City of Frankfort
Fire erupted at the historic railroad roundhouse in Frankfort Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020.

FRANKFORT, Indiana — A lingering piece of Indiana's railroad history was damaged by fire Sunday morning. Parts of the abandoned Frankfort roundhouse on Boomer Street  west of the town square caught fire and burned.

According to information shared by the City of Frankfort, firefighters found flames and smoke emerging from the Roundhouse when they arrived at approximately 10 a.m. Sunday.

“Firefighters were able to get the fire under control quickly and were hitting hot spots when a second fire erupted in another area of the Roundhouse," said Frankfort Fire Chief John Kirby. "The second fire rapidly got out of control and took several hours to knock down.”

Firefighters worked for six hours before securing the scene of the old Nickel Plate structure in the rail yard now owned by Norfolk Southern. Fifteen off-duty firefighters had to be called in to assist and provide coverage for the rest of the city.

Chief Kirby said one firefighter was transported to IU Health-Frankfort Hospital to be treated for dehydration, then released. 

Fire Investigator Jeremy Ward said the cause of the fire at the nearly 100-year-old complex is still under investigation.