DYER | A county task force comprised of area fire investigators is probing the cause of a blaze that destroyed a florist's workshop Friday night at the historic Meyer's Castle.
Dyer Fire Chief Thad Stutler said the Lake County Fire Chiefs Association Task Force is working to determine the cause of the fire.
"For a fire this size, it is really helpful to be able to turn to them to do the entire post-fire investigation," Stutler said Monday.
Stutler said the building was "a total loss."
"They had files, Christmas decorations and some exotic birds inside and they're all gone," he said.
Stutler said firefighters were called around 6 p.m. to the two-story building at 1370 Joliet Street near the banquet facilities.
"We had some issues with the guys getting a little overheated but we kept them all hydrated and tried to keep them cool," Stutler said.
Firefighters from Schererville, St. John and Lake Hills Fire Force assisted in battling the blaze.
Stutler said several area businesses assisted crews battling the blaze. Prompt Ambulance Service brought a mobile cooling station to the scene, Rob's Meat Chop & Deli provided cold water and McDonald's provided meals for firefighters.
Stutler said firefighters had the blaze under control in about 90 minutes, but the building began collapsing on itself and crews had to bring in heavy equipment to begin pulling it down.
U.S. 30 remained closed near the entrance to the restaurant-banquet hall until around 11:30 p.m., he said, as crews worked to secure the scene.
Firefighters were called back to the site around 2 a.m. Sunday when the debris began to smolder, Stutler said. Crews sprayed the embers and quickly got it under control, he said.
A representative from Meyer's Castle on Monday morning stressed the banquet facilities were not impacted by the fire and all events scheduled to take place at the venue will continue as planned.