Nearby offices were evacuated Wednesday morning when fire crews responded to a building being demolished on Gov. Trimble Place after the upper floor of the building filled with smoke from a piece of machinery.
Officials at the scene said a worker on top of what’s commonly known as the Armintrout building, which is currently in the beginning stages of demolition, was using a saw to cut into the building, inadvertently filling the upper floor of the building with smoke.
Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District was called to make sure nothing was burning, and The Times-Gazette offices adjacent to the building were evacuated.
Paint Creek firefighters used a ladder truck to look at the top of the building. There did not appear to be a fire.
Crews were packing up and leaving the scene shortly after 8:30 a.m.
The Armintrout building, owned by Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings, will be torn down brick by brick in coming days until a level is reached where the structure can be pulled down safely.
Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Mel McKenzie said crews are expected to be finished with the demolition on Friday, June 22, although they could complete it sooner.
Hastings has said the building is blighted beyond repair. After it’s demolished, he plans to build a parking lot in its place for tenants of nearby buildings, including The Times-Gazette.
The demolition, which officials said would cost about $30,000, was paid for by the city via its demolition assistance program. Hastings will pay the city back over the next five years through property tax assessments.
After the demolition is complete, work will resume on constructing a “green space” on Trimble, featuring decorative landscaping, benches and street lights, McKenzie said previously.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.