Massive fire destroys former foundry near downtown Mishawaka - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Massive fire destroys former foundry near downtown Mishawaka


A piece of Mishawaka history, up in flames.

It all started Monday evening at the RMG factory, formerly the "Dodge" building.

It's right next door to the Mishawaka fire department at the corner of Union and 9th Streets.

Battalion Chief, Jim Cocquyt says crews were on scene all day Tuesday putting out hot spots.

Cocquyt says, they've been on booms, 25 feet above the ground, moving material out of the way to get to those hotspots.

Cocquyt says the state and city Fire Marshals were also on scene Tuesday doing some preliminary investigating, but they still aren't able to get into the side of the building that collapsed. He says it could be a couple days before it's safe to do that.

Cocquyt says the building is actually owned by some family members of his, the Cocquyt Brothers.

It was a storage facility that people rented out for many valuable things like snowmobiles, vintage automobiles, RV's, even large boats.

"There's insurance on the building plus, most of the people who had their stuff stored in here have their insurance. It's going to be a mess to sort that our for a while," says Cocquyt.

Cocquyt says he's actually never fought a fire of this magnitude here before.

It's something they always talk about possibly happening, but it's difficult to prepare for.

"It's organized chaos when it happens. But luckily we work very closely with South Bend was here, Penn Township was here, Clay township was here. Our mutual aid system worked. We got a lot of help and we doubled the amount of manpower that we provided within the first hour," says Cocquyt.

Cocquyt says the wind was also a huge factor for firefighters last night and the logistics of getting around the massive building safely.

He says, all things considered, crews did a really great job of keeping the fire from spreading even more.

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