Less than a week after the doors opened at Art Van Furniture, crews worked to battle a Friday night fire.
Crews were called to the business at 9:07 p.m. on reports of a structure fire, Fort Wayne Fire Department spokeswoman Stacey Fleming said.
The store opened Feb. 8 in what was formerly Ashley Furniture HomeStore, 311 E. Coliseum Blvd., near Coldwater Road.
Smoke was billowing from the front of the building and flames were located within an exterior wall, Fleming said.
At least a dozen trucks were called to the scene because of the size of the building and its location – centered between several other large stores.
“When we have an area with multiple businesses and we know there’s smoke and fire, we want to play it safe and get as many crews out there as possible to make sure we keep it contained,” Fleming said.
The furniture store, Dick’s Sporting Goods to the west and Petco to the east were all evacuated. All three were preparing to close for the night when the fire began.
As firefighters worked to keep the fire contained in the furniture store, some smoke began to funnel into the neighboring Dick’s Sporting Goods store through a vent, but was quickly contained.
“It was labor intensive,” Deputy Fire Chief Mark Nelson said. “We had crews working to make sure it didn’t spread into the adjacent buildings.”
There was no smoke in the Petco store, he added, but Animal Care & Control was also on scene in case an evacuation was necessary.
“We had heavy smoke and some fire inside the walls and fought that aggressively,” Nelson said.
The fire was brought under control at 10:02 p.m., but crews remained in the area for at least an hour checking for hot spots in the wall and clearing the area.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Nelson said.