Firefighters contain blaze at Chatham House

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Rest of 600 block on Washington appears to have little damage

By Todd Martin

For the second time in less than two months, downtown Shelbyville has endured another loss from fire.

About six weeks ago firefighters battled a blaze at the 600 block of Main Street that left a hole the size of three buildings in the downtown streetscape.

On Sunday Shelbyville firefighters responded again, this time to a call at 10:33 a.m. at the Chatham House at 617 Washington Street – located between the Mercy Clinic and Dr. Raymond Lohr Dentistry.

The county department soon followed, and had the fire under control by 11:30, but both units were still applying water to home.

The cause of the fire remains unknown at this point.

Former owner Dr. Charles Chatham’s daughter, Lucy Kerman, owned the house and was visibly upset when she got to the scene around 11:30.

“I was no my way to church when I found out,” she said between tears.

Kerman said the house was under renovation and that things were coming along well.

“We had just gotten back in town after being gone for a few days, and we were really excited to come over and see what had been done,” she said. “Daddy just loved this house. That’s why we were working on it.”

Firefighters were on the scene quickly, and appeared to have saved Lohr’s dentist office and the Mercy Clinic from damage.

“It was around eleven o’clock, and I got a text in church,” Lohr said. “From what I understand, one of the fire departments watered the surrounding buildings down pretty good. A big piece of debris on fire fell down on it, but they got it out and off.

“I think it’s just some minor stuff, maybe some smoke damage but no structural damage.”

The Chatham house, however, is likely to become another hole in Shelbyville’s downtown.