Community rallies around Christian Moerlein Brewery building damaged in fire

By Dan Wells – bio | email

CINCINNATI (FOX19) – Local community organizations are now heating up the effort to help raise the Christian Moerlein Brewery building in Over-The-Rhine out of the ashes.

"I was happy to hear from a general contractor and the owner that it can be saved and there were firewalls in place that kept the fire from spreading to other parts of the building," said Brian Tiffany, CEO of the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce.

On Friday night, a four alarm fire ripped through the historic brewery on Elm Street.

"Everything inside that barrel house was wood and very old wood I was terrified that we were going to lose something that is really critical to the future of the neighborhood," said Over-the-Rhine Foundation Executive Director Michael Morgan.

Over-the-Rhine community leaders say damage to such an important part of the neighborhood and redevelopment effort is sickening.

"We're hopeful that the current owners see the value of this landmark as well and the impact that it has not only in Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine but Findlay Market as well," said Tiffany.

At one point, more than ninety firefighters from various departments across the city fought the flames for more than three hours before getting it under control.

"We still optimistic that they will be able to let this building realize its potential, and become another part of the contributing assets to Over-the-Rhine," said Tiffany.

"The positive side of it is the number of people that I have seen showing such an extraordinary amount of concern," said Morgan.

Firefighters say only the south end of the 250,000 square foot building was damaged.

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