A fire destroyed the office of a Highland chiropractor Sunday night, but no one was injured.
Firefighters were called to the office of Highland Chiropractic, 206 Walnut St., at 10:38 p.m. Assistant Fire Chief Kerry Federer said smoke was showing from the roof when they arrived.
The first firefighters to the scene made their way about 10 to 15 feet into the building and could see drywall buckling from the heat, Federer said. When they opened a door leading to the attic, they found a wall of flames behind it.
“The only access point (to the upper level) was that door, and there was no way to get anybody through there, and then it was pretty much a lost cause after that point,” Federer said.
Highland Chiropractic is operated by Dr. Mark Lacich, who bought the building 13 years ago.
Lacich said that when he and his wife, Chris, arrived, firefighters were working hard.
“I have never seen that amount of water ever being used with that amount of force. (Yet), fire was still coming out of the attic,” he said.
Lacich said he felt fortunate no one was injured. As far as what he lost, “that’s just stuff,” he said.
Lacich stayed most of the night, watching Highland and St. Jacob firefighters, who provided mutual aid, battle the blaze. He later went home and tried to sleep, but couldn’t. So, he returned back to his office. It was still smoldering around 9:30 a.m. on Monday as he stood in the parking lot waiting on an insurance adjuster.
“I still feel kind of numb,” he said. “Everywhere you look you see devastation. This isn’t something you ever plan for. It’s sickening.”
Highland Fire Chief Rick Bloemker believes lightning may have sparked the fire in the 90-plus-year-old structure.
“There were heavy thunderstorms in the area,” Bloemker said.
However, the exact cause of the fire has yet to determined as of early Monday morning, Bloemker said.
Lacich said he is fully insured and plans to be back in business soon.
“I really liked this place,” he said. “But we will rebuild.”
Firefighters were able to save the office’s main computer. Lacich also recovered a sign, which he received from his peers when he first opened. He is hoping to recover a stained glass window from the burned ruins and put it inside his new building.
Lacich said he has already in been contact with a local business owner about renting office space until his new office is built. He has also spoken with a number of other local chiropractors, who have offered to help him anyway they can.
He said he also plans to do something for the firefighters.
“I might just have to throw a barbecue for them,” he said.
Other fire calls
Highland firefighters were also dispatched at 12:25 a.m. Sunday to 265 Canterbury Lane. Federer, the assistant fire chief, said a malfunction in a furnace caused smoke to fill the home’s basement, but there was no structural damage to the house.
The Highland-Pierron Fire Department also had a call at 11:03 p.m., but it was unfounded, HPFD Chief Steve Plocher said.