Home | Archive | Place Classified | Subscribe | Where to Buy | About | Contact

Search only Ripley News

February 5, 2013

Fire damages former Chris Volz Motors building

Cindy Ward
Staff Writer

Milan fire ruled as accidental electrical.

A fire that gutted the former Chris Volz Motors building, which later housed The Mint Assembly plant, on Friday, February 1 on Main Street in Milan has been ruled by the state fire marshal as accidental electrical. The direct cause being the wrong size extension cords being used in the building.

Firefighters from five different departments spent the afternoon and evening of Friday, February 1, fighting the blaze. The building, owned by Len Eckstein, Sunman, was presently being used for RV storage and an indoor flea market.

Mike Alloway, lieutenant with the Milan Volunteer Fire Department, said the fire started a little before 4 p.m. and firefighters remained on the scene until around 11 p.m. Smoke was pouring out of the building when they arrived. The building construction, along with the fire load made it difficult to extinguish the blaze. The heat was so intense that it actually warped the steel I-beams.

Assisting Milan firefighters at the scene were fire departments from Delaware, Moores Hill, Aurora and Dillsboro. Rescue 30 also responded. The Milan Police Department was instrumental in blocking several of the roads, as water hoses laid across many of them. The Town of Milan took it upon themselves to spread salt around to keep the water on the ground from freezing and causing a further hazard, which Alloway said helped tremendously.

"We had a ton of food from local businesses and area residents for all of the firefighters. It was pretty amazing really how everybody comes together when you don't ask for any of that stuff and everybody just does it. It's kind of neat," said Alloway.

A little bit of history, Chris Volz's garage and car agency was first located on the North side of Carr Street. After outgrowing the Carr Street location, Volz built the large modern building at the south edge of town in 1950. It is said that 10,000 people attended the grand opening on April 1, 1950. Volz handed out 4,800 bottles of Coca Cola and 5,500 hot dogs that day.

Chris Volz Motors was the only General Motors dealer to sell all GMC products, trucks and cars. Many notable, including some Cincinnati Reds players, purchased cars from Volz. Several of the Milan 54 Indians worked for Volz and he coordinated a fleet of Cadillacs to bring the state champs home from Indianapolis in style.

Pictured left are members of the Milan Volunteer Fire Department fighting a fire at the former Chris Volz Motors building located at the corner of Main and Ellis Streets. Milan firemen, along with firemen from four other departments, fought the fire until late into the night before the flames and smoke could be extinguished. The fire was later ruled accidental.


Youngman's Marathon, Huck's Gas Station both robbed at gunpoint
Youngman's burglarized 4 times since Jan. 6

Wanda English Burnett

On Jan. 31 an armed robber hit Huck's Gas Station in Batesville about 3:10 a.m. and a little after 7:00 p.m. Youngman's Marathon in Napoleon, was also robbed at gunpoint.

Batesville's Police Chief Stan Holt said officers from his department responded to Hucks's Gas Station to find an employee and her husband inside the store, who said a man entered the store displaying a handgun and demanded money. The employee told police she handed over an undisclosed amount of money and the suspect left on foot.

The suspect from that robbery is described as being about 5'6" to 5'9" tall, wearing blue jeans, a green jacket with a hood, and a blue bandana covering his mouth.

According to Det. Sgt. Michael Benjamin with the Batesville Police Department, Huck's was closed for several hours while detectives and crime scene investigators collected evidence at the scene.

The crime is still under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Batesville Police Department at 812-934-3131.

With the roadways becoming quickly covered with snow that same evening, the call came in that Youngman's Marathon in Napoleon had also been robbed at gunpoint.

Police from the Ripley County Sheriff's Office responded cautiously, but as quickly as possible to the scene to find the armed robber had also fled on foot.

That suspect is described as being a male, about 5'6" about 130-140 pounds, wearing blue jeans, a dark colored work-type jacket with hood, and dark colored tennis shoes.

Police say they are unsure whether the suspect fled completely on foot, or if he was picked up by someone in a vehicle.

The Napoleon robbery is the fourth since Jan. 6 at that same location, Youngman's Marathon. The first three were robberies, where the suspect broke into the business. But, the last incident has people in Napoleon worried.

Even though Amy Meyer, general manager at Youngman's Marathon, wasn't on duty the night of the robbery, she said, "This last time was an armed robbery and it put me over the limit. This is bigger than Youngman's. This is bigger than the whole town of Napoleon. Everyone here should do something."

Meyer has created a petition for people to sign to possibly get a town marshal in the town of Napoleon. She says while there are several police officers who live in or around the area of Napoleon, they are not on duty when at home. Meyer noted that the town is 193 years old and has never had this type of criminal activity to her knowledge before. She says times have changed and she feels they need a town marshal now to watch out for the citizens who live in Napoleon.

The owner of Youngman's Marathon fell and broke his leg after the third robbery when he was trying to fix the smashed door. Meyer said, "The one thing I want to ask of people is for them to please pray."

Greg Boehner, owner of Boehner's Market said, "I'm a little bit concerned as I've been broken into before. I think the county should step up patrols a little bit and solve this crime spree." He went on to say, "People are talking around town about needing a town marshal. I personally don't think we need a town marshal, because of the cost associated with having one, but, if they could pay the sheriff's department a bit more to patrol this area better, it would probably make the people here feel more at ease."

"It's always been a pretty safe town," noted Tracy Volz, Napoleon Tavern. She said she thought the sheriff's department should patrol at Napoleon more since all of this is going on.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff's office at 812-689-5558.

Pictured left is Youngman's Marathon, located on US 421 in Napoleon, which has been robbed four times in less than thirty days.


To read these and more articles pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican at your local store or subscribe by clicking on the link above or by calling 812-689-6364.
Ripley Publishing Company, Inc.
115 S. Washington Street
P.O. Box 158
Versailles, Indiana 47042
Phone: (812) 689-6364
Fax: (812) 689-6508
Email: publication@ripleynews.com
© Copyright 2013 Ripley Publishing Co. Inc.