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Former Franklin nursing home hit by fire

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A fire damaged a former Franklin nursing home currently being renovated.

Firefighters received a call that smoke was coming from 1107 N. Main St., formerly the site of Angel Care, at about 5:30 p.m. Friday.

The fire started on the south side of the facility, and flames were contained to about one-third of the building. But firefighters had to battle the flames from outside, since the building was deemed an unsafe structure by the city last year, said Franklin Fire Department spokesman Chuck Ridpath.

“The building is a condemned structure. That kind of made the firefighting efforts a little tough. They weren’t going to enter just because it was vacant,” Ridpath said.

An estimate of damage was not available Monday.

Investigators were at the building Monday to try to determine the cause of the fire. The fire is not being viewed as suspicious. The building was unoccupied when the fire started, Ridpath said.

The city had planned to tear down the building, which was vacant for more than five years. But the property was purchased by Whiteland resident and deputy prosecutor Megan Smither, who started renovations with her father earlier this year. Smither was not available Monday.

Bargersville and Greenwood fire departments assisted Franklin firefighters at the fire scene. Amity and Whiteland helped cover other areas of the city while the Franklin firefighters were at the nursing home fire.

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