Remains of burned-down building in Elkhart still exist one year later

(Sam Householder/Elkhart Truth)

A reminder of what once was a historic building in Elkhart is still there one year later after it burned to the ground.

Fire destroyed the building at 612 Main St. on July 19, 2016. It took firefighters hours in the evening to completely contain the blaze and keep it from spreading to neighboring buildings.

Today, the pile of rubble that sits on the property remains, and the cost to remove it is proving costly. The Elkhart Truth is reporting that the owner of the property, Jim Wagner, has been unable to come up with the finances to clean the mess. A neighboring business owner also told the Elkhart Truth that he can’t repair a brick wall that was exposed to the fire because of the rubble.

On Monday, the Elkhart City Council’s Finance Committee will discuss how to come up with the $85,000 it will cost to remove the rubble from the property using a low-vibration technique to protect neighboring buildings. After that, the city hopes cleanup will be done as soon as possible.

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