Early Saturday morning May 26th, Michigan City Firefighters were dispatched to a possible structure fire in the 300 Block of West 8th Street. Immediately upon leaving the station, Engine Company 1 advised command that they had a working fire with flames visible over the houses and buildings. Upon arrival, A defensive attack was the only option as the building was already heavily involved with fire. The building was an old church that had been converted into an antiques store which made the fire load inside the building very high. The primary concern in this case was Lighthouse Place, a very popular outlet mall in the Midwest, which had a strip section located feet from the blaze. Making the situation worse that night were the gusty, swirling winds which at times pushed the smoke and flames dangerously close to the mall building.
Multiple ground and aerial master streams were immediately deployed to protect the exposures and knock down the fire. Although firefighters spent a majority of the next day pouring water on hot spots and knocking down walls that were left standing and unstable after the blaze, firefighters brought the fire under control in about an hour and a half limiting the damage to the mall building to some melted siding and some minor structural damage when the steeple wall collapsed onto the mall structure. Michigan City Fire responded to the alarm with three engine companies, two aerial companies and several command vehicles. Two ambulances from LaPorte County EMS also were also standing by and Michigan City Police and street department assisted as well by closing off access to the area while firefighters worked the scene.
At the time of this writing, cause of the fire is under investigation by the Michigan City Fire Marshals office and Indiana State Fire Marshal. The owners of the building reported the value of the building and contents at a "couple hundred thousand dollars" and reportedly were uninsured.