FIRST LISTEN: Younkers Fire 911 Calls Released

For the first time we’re hearing the 911 calls made as the historic Younkers building went up in flames.

Between dispatch taking 911 calls and the fire and police crews communicating with each other there were more than 600 calls recorded related to the Younkers fire starting with people downtown who spotted the blaze.

The first calls starting coming in just before 1 a.m. of people reporting heavy black smoke coming from the area.

A fire truck and medic at a call near Court Avenue were first on the scene and reported the top two floors were already on fire.

Less than five minutes after the first crews arrived, it was quickly changed to a two alarm fire and several other units were called to the Younkers building.

Less than 15 minutes after the first crew arrived on the scene the fire was changed to a three alarm fire and all available units were called to help.

Authorities also released the communication between the fire crews describing the fire quickly spreading.

Monday, the building was officially turned over to the owner, the Alexander Company. They began their own investigation today. They have plans to lower a worker inside the building by a crane to get a better look at the damage from the inside.


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