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Suspicious fire destroys Ox Bow Park tower

Fire officials are investigating a “suspicious” fire that destroyed the observation tower at Ox Bow County Park early this morning.

Posted on July 28, 2010 at 1:00 a.m.

Fire officials are investigating a “suspicious” fire that destroyed the observation tower at Ox Bow County Park early this morning.

The four-story structure caught fire just after midnight, according to Concord Township Fire Department Deputy Chief Jon Simmons.

Simmons said fire crews saw a big red glow in the sky around C.R. 45 along with a lot of smoke. When they got to the observation tower, it was fully engulfed. No injuries were reported.

Simmons said the fire is suspicious, but no witnesses have come forward. A Concord fire investigator will look into the fire on Friday, Simmons said.

Gary Plank, west regional supervisor for Elkhart County parks, said he was shocked this morning when he found the tower burned to the ground.

The tower has been hit by lightning several times and wasn’t badly damaged in those previous incidents, he said.

Plank said the tower was old -- it had been in the park since the 1970s -- and had undergone numerous remodelings.

“It’s kind of been a landmark out here in the park,” he said. “Whether or not it will be replaced, we don’t know yet. That’s up to our park board.”




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