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Firefighters recall historic Jordan block fire (with video)

‘Son, you better hope you never get a fire there'

Fire Chief Steve Haywood (left), Deputy Fire Chief Andrew Borkowski, and retired Fire Capt. Mike Jobst were among those to respond to the Jordan block. Fire departments from many communities were called to the site and the trio recalled the event for its 20th anniversary.
Fire Chief Steve Haywood (left), Deputy Fire Chief Andrew Borkowski, and retired Fire Capt. Mike Jobst were among those to respond to the Jordan block. Fire departments from many communities were called to the site and the trio recalled the event for its 20th anniversary.

When Fire Capt. Mike Jobst was a rookie he was warned about one location in Ottawa.

Jobst recalled sitting in the old fire station looking out through the kitchen window at the back end of the old Jordan Hardware store.

“Those old-timers would point and say, ‘Son, you better hope you never get a fire there,’ ” Jobst explained. “And I almost made it without one.”

Jobst, who retired in December 2004, said enough time has passed the memories of the 1998 fire aren’t conjured every time he sees the large downtown lot long since turned into a green space. But Jobst, as well as Fire Chief Steve Haywood and Deputy Fire Chief Andrew Borkowski, revisited those memories by watching police car dashboard camera footage of the fire to mark the event’s 20th anniversary.

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