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$1 million in books destroyed in fire

TIPP CITY, Ohio (WDTN) – Fire crews battled a blaze overnight in a downtown Tipp City business.

A long-time bookstore in the 100 block of East Main Street has caught fire for the second time in a matter of hours.

Fire officials tell WISH-TV’s sister station WDTN that three people were taken to the hospital, two of whom were suffering from smoke inhalation. A firefighter was also taken to the hospital; however, officials say it was stress related, and that firefighter is expected to make a full recovery.

Officials also confirm a cat died in the fire.

According to Tipp City Fire Chief Steve Kessler – Three people who lived in an apartment above the bookstore have been displaced.  Fire officials say there is some water and smoke damage to a clothing store next door, Merchant 31, but the fire was largely contained to the bookstore.A ‘GoFundMe’ page has been setup to collect donations for rebuilding after the fire. Click the link, if you’d like to donate.

Crews responded to a fire just before 10 p.m. on Monday night, and contained the fire at that time. But, the fire broke out again around 5 a.m. on Tuesday, seriously damaging the building, which houses Browse Awhile Books.

“We don’t like rekindles. It makes us feel very poorly that we have to come back,” Kessler said, “We probably only have one rekindle every couple of years. We’re not even sure it was caused by the same problem.”

Chief Kessler told WDTN Tuesday morning more than $1 million in books that were inside the store.

He says an electrical issue is to blame for the fire. He says the wiring was last ‘up to code’ more than two-decades ago.

“There are some things that are required like exit signs and those kind of things fire related, and safety related. As far as the building structure. They don’t have to have it upgraded until they change usage,” he said.