COLERIAN TWP., Ohio (FOX19) - Colerain Township officials unveiled a mural Monday to honor the victims of a devastating fire in 1964 that claimed three lives.
Western Cabinet Center stood at 7600 Colerain Avenue before the blaze 56 years ago. Though it sat empty for years, the site lost none of its resonance for the families of those who died.
Now the site is home to a Duke Energy operations center — joined, as of Monday, by a memorial for the three victims, among which were two firefighters and the son of the store’s owner.
“He was a wonderful man," Michelle Kolb said of Michael Hausfield, whose father owned Western Cabinet Center. “He gave me a foundation of love and acceptance, and I am forever grateful for the two years I had with him.”
Groesbeck volunteer fireman Capt. Leroy Hammit and firefighter Bruce Price also perished in the blaze.
“I can remember walking here,” Karen Liebisch, Price’s daughter, said. ‘I can remember watching the fire, and when they said that he was gone... but I don’t remember walking home. It was a tragic time."
Kolb, Price and other members of the victims’ families were at the memorial’s unveiling Monday with members of Colerain Township Department of Fire and EMS as well as township officials.
“Every October 19th is a hard day for me,” Kolb said. “It was kid of a special day when my mom was alive... she passed away last year. But every October 19th, her and i would talk and we would reminisce about my dad and what a great man he was, and she would share stories with me.”