Fire in downtown Barre - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Fire in downtown Barre

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Barre, Vermont - May 31, 2010

Fire ripped through a historic building in downtown Barre Monday evening.  The blaze at the old Key bank took more than 100 firefighters to control.

The old building went up fast with flames shooting through the roof.  It's vacant and no one was inside.  But firefighters worked urgently, hoping to save the rest of the Aldrich block.

The fire started in the downtown building around 3pm Monday.

Heartbreaking for many, the historic building anchored the corner of North Main Street and Elm Street for over 100 years.  Another set back to a city already struggling.

"It's disheartening when you are a taxpayer, to see your city slowly dying in front of you, and that's what that black smoke represents to me," says Barre resident Dawn Borne.

The building was being prepared for major renovations.  Barre City Mayor Thom Lauzon had just bought the building last month, with plans to start renovations in July and turn it into retail and office space.

May change the timetable but doesn't change the intent," says Lauzon.

Mayor Thom Lauzon says no matter the damage to the building, he'll push ahead with the project.

"I'm still resilient, Barre is still resilient," says Lauzon.

Firefighters are not sure what caused the blaze, or if it is suspicious.

Kristin Carlson - WCAX-TV

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