Flames Destroy Antique Store, Apartments and Residents' Memories (VIDEO & PHOTOS)

By Dave Wheaton
By Linda Jackson

May 7, 2013 Updated Nov 7, 2013 at 8:46 PM EDT

Fort Wayne, IN (www.incnow.tv) - A Fort Wayne Business is destroyed by an early morning fire Tuesday on the city's near northwest side.

The fire sparked at around 5:20. The building contained an antique store, Meyer Creek Antiques & Collectibles, and four apartments upstairs.

Fire crews found a fire on the outside of the building near the natural gas hook-up and put that fire out but then found more fire inside the building and gas that was leaking out and feeding the fire.

There was a small explosion when that gas ignited and they evacuated a number of nearby homes for fear of a bigger explosion.

Firefighters had to get out of the building and wait for NIPSCO to shut off the gas and during that time the fire continued to burn inside the building. It burned to the point that it was unsafe for fire crews to fight the fire from within the building so they had to resort to pouring water through windows and doors.

"I was like half way between sleep and dreamland and I hear people running down the stairs and my window was open and all I heard was the word "fire" and I was up and I just grabbed my phone, grabbed my shorts and got out as fast as I can," John Nebro a resident in one of the upstairs apartments told 21Alive. "This is my first home after I moved out of my dads. Everything is gone. All my memories, everything."

Residents watched and hoped their belongings could be saved but because the building was so unsafe, not even firefighters went in and they started to demolish the building.

No injuries have been reported.

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