A fire at a 118-year old factory in Shelbyville is being investigated. The Shelbyville Fire Department responded to a call at 12:16 p.m. of the fire at Old Hickory Furniture, 403 S. Noble St. The fire was under control at 1:06 p.m., Fire Chief Tony Logan said. There were no injuries reported and the company’s employees were evacuated safely. The fire started around a paint booth. No additional details were available as the investigation had just begun. Logan said the sprinkler system was working properly, which helped control the fire.
“Sprinkler systems are designed to keep the fire in check,” he said. “Our responsibility is to maintain or support that.” He said it is “imperative” for places of business to have a functioning sprinkler system. “Like I said, sprinkler systems are designed to keep the fire in check,” he said. “It’s not necessarily designed to put it out, but if you keep it in a small, incipient stage where it produces damage, in this case, this facility will be back up and running a lot quicker, employees will be back to work, they’ll be producing their product, with no loss of revenue to them or to the city tax-wise.”
More than 20 firefighters responded to the scene. “If this had happened at 3 in the morning, it could have been a different outcome,” Logan said. “We’re fortunate it happened during the day.” Most of the damage was inside the building, but there was some roof damage as well. As the fire department finished putting out the fire, Logan said the investigation was just starting and the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office may be called to the scene. “Hopefully we’ll get some answers soon,” he said. “It’s hard to tell with some of these older structures.” Old Hickory has been in business since 1899. It handcrafts a variety of furniture pieces, including tables, rockers, mirrors and frames, bathroom wall cabinets and bookcases.