How Do Indianapolis Firefighters Deal With Historic Buildings?


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How Do Indianapolis Firefighters Deal With Historic Buildings?

Battalion Chief Howard Stahl says they "take a little more to heart."

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's been almost exactly 18 years since the Sacred Heart fire caused $1 million in damage to the church in downtown Indianapolis. 

Howard Stahl, Battalion Chief with the Indianapolis Fire Department, remembers the Sacred Heart Catholic Church fire in 2001, and says some firefighters that got the call, actually attended the church. 

"It was personal to them," Stahl says. "I could say they had a little edge to them. You get a little sense of urgency."

Even though they treat every fire the same, Stahl says firefighters know it's a bigger deal when they get a call to a historic place.

"You're gonna get 110% no matter what, but we take a little more to heart when it's something as historic as that."

Saving lives is obviously the top priority for firefighters, but once they know there's no life hazard, Stahl says they then begin the attack on the fire and any salvaging of any precious items.

Stahl adds that he feels for the firefighters and officials working on the aftermath of the Notre Dame cathedral fire in Paris. 

"Those poor guys had their backs against the wall going into that."

(Photo by blurAZ/Thinkstock)

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