Fire destroys Hanging Rock tackle shop

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 3, 2005

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP - As 76-year-old Vic Hopper worked his way cautiously through the debris, his years of hard work and dedication burned faster than he could work to save them.

A blaze Monday evening cost the longtime Hanging Rock resident his much-loved business, Vic's Bait and Tackle Shop. Firefighters from four departments worked furiously to put the fire out but most on the scene agreed that the business was a total loss, but firefighters were able to save Hopper's connected house.

"We are just so lucky they were able to save the house," said Vic's daughter-in-law Susan who lives across the street. "The fire was just so intense."

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Even though the house was connected to the business, the crews were able to avoid extensive water damage to the home.

For Hopper, the already devastating situation was compounded by the fact that he knew in the back of his mind that he didn't have insurance.

"As far as I could see it, the business was a total loss," said Dale Waugh, chief of the Elizabeth Township Fire Department. Upper, Hamilton, Elizabeth and Green townships' volunteer fire departments responded.

The fire began around 8 p.m. after Hopper had closed the doors for the evening. Firefighters worked well past 11 p.m. to put the blaze out.

Fortunately, no one was injured, Waugh said.