Fire at old Mendelsons building: ‘It looked more impressive than it actually was’

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Combined ShapeCaption
A fire broke out Tuesday morning, June 14, 2022, at the former Mendelsons liquidation outlet in downtown Dayton under reconstruction.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A fire on the roof produced heavy black smoke from the old Mendelson Liquidation Outlet building late Tuesday morning in downtown Dayton.

The fire was reported around 11:30 a.m. to the building at 340 E. First St., not far from the home of the Dayton Dragons, in the heart of the city’s thriving Water Street District.

ExplorePHOTOS: Fire on top of former Mendelsons building in downtown Dayton

A major renovation is underway to convert the eight-story, 544,935-square-foot building — also known as Delco plant 2 — into apartments, office, retail and restaurant space.

Preliminary information suggests the fire started when construction crews on the roof either cut into or did work on an object or container that may have had rubber or a fuel product inside, said Dayton fire Chief Jeff Lykins.

The fire was pretty small and did not take long to extinguish. However, it did produce a significant amount of smoke, he said.

Roofing and the vessel essentially were the only things that burned because most of the building had been cleared out for renovations.

“It looked more impressive than it actually was,” Lykins said.

Firefighters Initially had trouble getting water to the roof and had to pump it using a ladder truck.

Fire crews accessed the fifth floor of the massive building by setting up aerial ladder trucks with pre-piped waterways, Lykins said.

ExplorePHOTOS: Sandy Mendelson, longtime Dayton businessman, through the years

The biggest concern was the extremely hot weather.

The fire department set up “rehab units” to help firefighters in full gear who responded to the incident cool down, Lykins said.

“It is tremendously hot,” he said.

About 11 fire trucks and paramedic units responded to the scene.

“I know we sent a lot initially because of the amount of smoke,” Lykins said.

Mendelsons closed Dec. 31, 2020, following the sale to Columbus developer Crawford Hoying Inc. for $7.325 million in the fall of 2019.

ExploreMassive Mendelsons building to become apartments, offices, retail
Combined ShapeCaption
Dayton crews responded to a fire Tuesday morning, June 14, 2022, at the former eight-story Mendelson Liquidation Outlet building in downtown Dayton. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: Jim Noelker

Dayton crews responded to a fire Tuesday morning, June 14, 2022, at the former eight-story Mendelson Liquidation Outlet building in downtown Dayton. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: Jim Noelker

Combined ShapeCaption
Dayton crews responded to a fire Tuesday morning, June 14, 2022, at the former eight-story Mendelson Liquidation Outlet building in downtown Dayton. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Combined ShapeCaption
Heavy black smoke was coming from the roof of the former Mendelsons building in downtown Dayton. BEN MCLAUGHLIN/STAFF

Credit: Ben McLaughlin

Heavy black smoke was coming from the roof of the former Mendelsons building in downtown Dayton. BEN MCLAUGHLIN/STAFF

Credit: Ben McLaughlin

Combined ShapeCaption
Heavy black smoke was coming from the roof of the former Mendelsons building in downtown Dayton. BEN MCLAUGHLIN/STAFF

Credit: Ben McLaughlin

Credit: Ben McLaughlin