Community reacts to loss of firework store - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Community reacts to loss of firework store

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The small town of Rochester had an unexpected fireworks display Wednesday night, and it wasn't one that left people cheering. A popular fireworks store went up in flames and it cause some big challenges for fire crews.

Thursday, people like Lenora Kopka drove up to Windy City Fireworks, to check out what's left of the building. "It looks like a disaster. We used to come here every year to buy fireworks because this was the best place to get them."

But no one will be buying fireworks here for awhile. Fire Chief Tom Butler says one of the buildings was engulfed within minutes and now it's flattened. "It was an extremely hot fire."

He says fighting the fireworks, heat, and a water shortage made for a long night. And it was too dangerous for firefighters to enter the buildings. "There was no need to risk firemen's safety to go in to try to put something out that we weren't going to get out."

Spectators like Adam Beliles and Heather Clark were across the street watching the whole scene, taking pictures.

"It's like pretty much watching a firework show with smoke, it was constant, non-stop. We were there about an hour and a half watching it," says Beliles.

And Thursday they came back to see the damage in the daylight. "It's crazy, it's been here our whole life, I grew up here and I bought fireworks there before and this past 4th of July," says Beliles.

"It's just sad, I mean this building has been here forever, I've lived here all my life and just seeing something else that's no longer with us, it's kind of sad to see," says Clark.

Officials still don't know what started the fire. The Fulton County Sheriff says the property will be under security until the investigation is complete.

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