Community coming together after Bicknell fire


BICKNELL, Ind. (WTHI) – One local community bands together after losing several buildings in a fire.

Recently, fire investigators ruled the downtown fire in Bicknell arson. Within a matter of minutes, those buildings were gone – destroyed by a massive fire that took everything with it.

The Senior Citizens Center, which provided a location for the Meals on Wheels program, was located in one of the buildings destroyed.

Louise Keef was on her way to work at the Senior Citizen Center when she found out about the fire.

“We just live just down the road and we saw the flame and that but we figured it was some place else we never dreamt it was the senior center,” she explained.

But unfortunately, everything was destroyed.

“It had a lot of damage and the ceilings were caving-in,” described Chief Tom Houghland, Bicknell Fire Department. “We have found out… it was definitely a set fire. It was an arson fire.”

This left the Meals on Wheels program homeless. That was until the Bicknell Fire Department stepped in to help.

“What could they do… they had no where to go, we just said come on down and use the building,” Houghland stated.

“If it hadn’t been for the fire department, we wouldn’t have had a place to go,” Keef said.

A group of men not only cleaned up the destruction but also helped clean up the damage done to their community.

As for the future of the Meals on Wheels program, they plan to continue to work out of the Bicknell Fire House.

But they hope to one day get a new building.

As for the buildings involved in the fire – Bicknell’s Mayor stated they are considered unsafe, a total loss and will eventually need to be demolished. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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