UPDATE: Cause of 4-alarm fire may be released soon

Posted by Amber Jenkins - email

OVER THE RHINE, OH (FOX19) - The cause of a 4-alarm fire in Over-the-Rhine may be released as soon as Monday.

Cincinnati Fire crews responded to the 1900 block of Elm Street a short time before 8:30 p.m. Friday and found fire coming from the roof at the Old Christian Moerlein Brewery.

Because of heavy fire conditions, firefighters had to evacuate the building and a second alarm was issued. A third alarm was called after crews feared that the blaze would spread to three other buildings, one of them which was occupied. Crews sounded a fourth alarm for additional water supply because of the size of the building and volume of fire.

After three hours the blaze was brought under control. Twenty fire companies and 85 firefighters were called to the incident. No one was hurt.

Crews were still on the scene on Sunday, battling hot spots. The fire was mostly contained to the fourth floor, and the barrel house suffered the majority of damage.

The building suffered thousands of dollars in damage, but is not expected to be torn down. A deal was recently drawn up to convert the building into retail space.

"There's only so many of these brewery buildings, it's a great part of the city's history, the country's history," said Steve Hampton, president of the Brewery District Community. "Cincinnati was one of the largest brewers at one point in time. And with all the German population here at the time it was a centerpiece of the culture here so any time you lose one of these buildings it's certainly a tragedy."

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