Fire hits south side of square
1 man hurt

Register Editor


Register/Richard Luken
At left Iola firefighters Trevor Shannon, front, and Eric B’hymer, rear, quickly evacuate clothing from the Party Girls store at 7 E. Madison Friday night as a fire from an neighboring upstairs apartment poured into the store. Above smoke can be seen coming from the office of Big Brothers Big Sisters. By late into the evening all the businesses and stores were filled with smoke.

A fire late Friday night filled several downtown businesses with smoke and sent one man to Allen County Hospital.
The fire apparently started in an apartment occupied by Brock Stotler, who was taken by ambulance to the hospital with unknown injuries, although it appeared to bystanders that he may have suffered smoke inhalation. His apartment is above Salon Nyne, 8 E. Madison Ave.
The fire began around 10 p.m. and by within the hour was contained, said Fire Chief Don Leapheart. The fire was restricted to the Stotler apartment.
Smoke came at times heavily from the second floor windows above Salon Nyne, an area holding the office of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Stotler’s apartment is at the rear of the building. Smoke also was seen coming from second-story windows above Party Girls, a door west of Salon Nyne.
The stores and businesses all along the first block of East Madison were filled with smoke, including an unoccupied building, State Farm Insurance, Party Girls, Salon Nyne, American Family Insurance, Town and Country Western Wear and Addictive Trendz.
All major Iola fire units responded to the fire and the downtown area was isolated to permit firefighters and others involved in public safety freedom from interference by onlookers.
Extensive smoke and water damage can be expected for those affected.