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Fire Breaks Out in Downtown Valparaiso

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3-4-13 Downtown Valparaiso Fire Thumb4
[Photo/Camie Marfoe, Valparaiso]

Road closures -- Lincolnway, from Morgan to Washington... Michigan closed in both directions... The fire is at building at Lincolnway and Michigan.
There is a fire hose running down the middle of Lincolnway from the Porter County Courthouse all the way to the fire scene. The fire hose is also blocking Franklin.
City parking lot west of Round the Clock restaurant is closed with fire equipment
Expect fire crews to be on scene for most of the day
Llincolnway EAST of Morgan (where many people turn north to get to Calumet Ave) is open... CAN'T go south on Morgan, but you can go NORTH
Fire apparently under control, but heavy smoke still in the area, and winds from the west are blowing the smoke into the downtown area.
Also – there are some power outages, including the Lifestyles building... outages due to fire and power being shut off... NIPSCO has been on scene
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3-4-13 Downtown Valparaiso Fire Thumb3
[Photo/Camie Marfoe, Valparaiso]

One firefighter has been transported to the hospital after a major fire breaks out overnight  in a building that takes up about a whole block,  in downtown Valparaiso. There's also fire damage to other structures on either side.  The extent of the firefighter's injuries wasn't available at this time.   The Valparaiso Fire Department got the call around 1:30 am.  Crews from Morgan Township and Washington Township were also on scene.  
Officials say the fire was in a two-story brick building at Lincolnway and Michigan, a structure that includes a mortgage company at that corner, plus businesses that face Michigan south of Lincolnway, including a barber shop and at least one other store.   Authorities say almost the entire inside of that building has been destroyed.   For those who are familiar with downtown Valpo, the building is a block east of Lifestyles.
Power is also out in some of the downtown buildings, east of the square, including the Lifestyles building from what we've been told this morning, and it's unknown how long those businesses will be without power.

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