Cleanup continues after fire breaks out at historic Greencastle building

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The cleanup of an historic Greencastle building is still underway, two weeks after 300,000 gallons of water was used to put out a fire.

The fire damaged seven interconnected buildings along East Washington Street. It is estimated there are about $1 million to $1.5 million worth of damages.

Dr. Perry Wainman, who is a dentist, worked inside one of the buildings that was damaged. He has worked 13 years inside the historic building and more than 40 years in Greencastle.

“I chose this town 41 years ago and I’ve not been sorry one time for not moving here,” Wainman said.

Dr. Wainman said he is working with various groups, including a renovation team, to determine how much of his equipment is salvageable.

“They are going to be doing the restoration, getting the roof off (and start) cleaning up all the water damage in here,” he said.

Fire officials believe the fire may have started inside the porch of the building next to his. The fire may have started on the second floor, possibly near a ceiling fan. Fire officials are still investigating.

Dr. Wainman was inside, with two patients, when the fire erupted around 7:21 a.m. May 17.

“I seen the whole thing. I was sitting here. I told the fireman my firewall’s holding. It’s cool. Thanks. We went and shut my power off, but then we seen the fire coming out from underneath the guttering on my roof. I knew we were in trouble,” Dr. Wainman said

More than anything, Dr. Wainman cannot wait to reopen his office. In the meantime, other dentists are helping him out. Dr. Wainman may reopen temporarily in another location as it could be several months before the damaged buildings are restored.

“If I am out (of) here three, four, six months. I cannot service my people,” Dr. Wainman said.

The entire building was built in 1875. The city was in the process of renovating downtown with the help of a state grant. Two facades were scheduled to be renovated when the fire sparked. Dr. Wainman’s building was one of them. The work may now have to be rescheduled.

“We’ve got a lot of questions still to iron out before we can even talk to the property owners about how we can help them and what other resources are there that we can bring here to help teem make these decisions to stay downtown,” Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray said.