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Crews battle building fire in downtown Monroe

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Posted at 10:26 AM, Dec 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-31 15:54:01-05

Crews battled a fire at a mixed-use building in downtown Monroe that started just after 6 a.m. Saturday. 

Those who live in Monroe say the building was originally built in the 1800s and had recently been updated.

The commercial building which also has a residential section is located near Monroe and 1st.

Fire officials say families from six apartments were evacuated. Red Cross is currently assisting the residents.

Officials say the fire started in a brand new resale shop with plans to open in 2017. It is located in between Monroe Optical and the Book Nook. The Book Nook is downtown Monroe's second oldest business. Firefighters did enter the Book Nook, but the flames didn't appear to have impacted the shop. The smoke and water damage is unknown.

As of 11 a.m., crews were still searching for the source of the fire, tearing down walls to put out hot spots. 

Officials say they think the fire could have started in the basement then traveled quickly through the walls.  Smoke was in the basement, first and second floor when firefighters arrived on scene just after 6 a.m.

Multiple fire departments were on the scene. 

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