Photo by local resident Joe Hunter.
Photo by local resident Joe Hunter.

The Old Hope Gym caught fire late Wednesday evening.  First responders were on the scene late into the night.  Cause or total damages are not known at this time.  Watch for a follow-up story.  

Hope Volunteer Fire Department has released the following:

At 9:37pm on 4/27/2022, the Hope Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to a possible structure fire at 543 Washington St. which is the Hope Community Center.
Town of Hope Police Officer Gordon was the first to arrive on scene and advised the Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Center that there was heavy smoke showing from the gym building.
HVFD Deputy Chief Mathis was the first firefighter on scene at 9:42pm and advised it was a working structure fire. HVFD Engine 11, Truck 12, and Tanker 14 responded within minutes. Flatrock Fire Dept. Clifford Fire Dept. and Hartsville Fire Dept. were dispatched to assist.
Upon arrival, firefighters initiated an interior suppression attack from multiple access points, however this was unsuccessful due to a partial roof and floor collapse in the area of the stage All firefighters were evacuated from the structure and an external defensive attack was initiated. Columbus Fire Departments Engine 2 was requested to assist with aerial operations. Truck 12 and Engine 2 were able to contain the spread of the fire from their elevated positions and were eventually able to fully extinguish the fire. Firefighters were then able to make limited entry into the structure to cool any remaining hot spots.
Fire units remained in the scene until 3:23am.
There were no injuries were reported by any responding personnel on scene. Estimates by Hope Utilities are that approximately 300,000 gallon of water were used in the fire suppression.
The HVFD would like to thank the assisting fire departments well as CRH EMS, the Hope Police Dept. , the Bartholomew County Sheriffs Dept., Hope Utilities, and Duke Energy personnel on scene for all of their help. We would also like to thank the staff of the Hope Community Center, who during this time of loss were still gracious enough to open their facility to the first responders on scene and even provided coffee and refreshments.