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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

100-Year-Old Pumpkin Center destroyed by fire Tuesday morning

PUMPKIN CENTER - JANUARY 17, 2023 - A woman staying at the Pumpkin Center was able to escape an early morning fire, that destroyed a piece of Orange County history Tuesday.

The building was just recently sold to Carl Baker, a couple weeks ago according to nearby residents.

" I was up around 2:30 am and there was nothing going on, the building was just fine. Then, about 4:30 am started hearing the sirens and of course the whole building was on fire," said Gary Gillespie.

There is no word on yet, from fire officials what caused this morning's fire.

The fire at the Pumpkin Center continues to smolder hours after a fire ripped through the historic structure Tuesday morning.

Several fire departments from Orange County were dispatched to a large structure fire in the 2100 block of County Road 500 East (Tater Road) This is reported as the Old Pumpkin Center Store.

The fire was reported just before 4:00 am and members of the Orange County Rural District #2 Volunteer Fire Department requested additional help in fighting the fire.

An old Iron Bridge that was removed on Tater Road a few years ago was moved behind the store

Reports that the fire was spreading quickly, and the department wanted to prevent it from spreading to other structures. This included an attached garage. A nearby field has been reported as on fire at this time.

At this time, Orange County Rural District #2, Livonia and Southeast Township Volunteer Fire Departments in Orange County and Campbellsburg, Livonia and Posey Township in Washington County have been dispatched. Orange County EMS have been dispatched to stand-by at the fire scene. At this time there are no reports of injuries.

At 4:33 am an additional request for manpower was paged out for Campbellsburg, Livonia and Posey Township VFD in Washington, County.

The building constructed in 1922 was originally owned by Ad and Mabel Gray, who lived on the top floor of the building.

Members of the community stopped by to view the devastation and memories of the place where they went as a child.

The fire will leave a huge whole to the rural Orange County community

Many reflected on the swing sets were hung from the nearby trees, that sat behind the store. The Gray's who never had any children just adopted all of the children.

A nearby tree across the roadway smolders following Tuesday morning's fire

" You could just find about anything in that building, including Rat Trap Cheese that was sliced to your liking," said one neighbor.

" I moved to the area in 2004, when Mabel was still alive, and if she was around, she would just be very sad to see what has happened," said Gillespie.

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