Fire leaves New Castle Street Department in ruins, possibly millions in damages

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NEW CASTLE, Ind. — The City of New Castle is trying to salvage what’s left behind after a fire destroyed their street department overnight.

“The first 911 call came in right at 12:30 a.m. last night that multiple trash trucks were on fire. And I thought, ‘How strange,’” said New Castle Mayor Greg York.

No smoke was visible from the site but fire crews and police from New Castle arrived to find flames. 

“We rolled up here and we park our truck right here in front of us. We had fire in the front of this trash truck and some fire coming out of one of the bays here,” said New Castle Fire Department Captain Chris McCartt. 

Minutes later, it quickly began to spread, causing them to call for back up. 

“When I got up to the top of the ladder, every bit of the building was on fire. We called in a third alarm,” said McCartt.

There were nearly 50 firefighters on the scene battling the blaze. 

“A lot of the trucks had 6, 8, 10 tires on them so we had a lot of tires exploding. A couple of gas tanks on the trash trucks over here exploded,” said McCartt.

This setback is a major loss for the City of New Castle.

“We lost all of our dump trucks, salt trucks, snow plows, in loaders, brand new max patcher that patches the potholes,” said Mayor York.  

They lost a total of 15 vehicles, not including their two-story office, all of their files and data.

“It’s a multi-million dollar loss between the building and the equipment, it’s a multi-million dollar loss,” said Mayor York. 

12-hours after the fire hotspots continued to reignite keeping firefighters busy just when they thought their work would be done. 

“The big issue was the tin falling on top of the fire and not being able to get water on that. So we had an excavator come in last night to move some of the stuff around so we could get some more water on the fire,” said McCartt.  

In the meantime, the city is getting some much-needed assistance while still working on a limited basis while asking residents for pardon. 

“I want our residents to know just be patient with us, we may not get things picked up on time, but we’ll get it picked up just a quick as we possibly can,” said York. 

State fire marshals and their hazmat team were on the scene this afternoon gathering evidence.  They’ll begin their investigation Thursday morning at 9.a.m. to determine the cause.

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