Just in time for Christmas cards and packages to be sent and received, Milton’s post office has reopened more than seven months after it caught fire.
The post office re-opened Saturday and resumed its regular hours.
Western Wayne News is making our reporting in this article available for free to non-subscribers as well as subscribers. If you value having access to quality local journalism and news, please support us with a paid subscription.
Before the fire, Milton’s post office offered 24-hour lobby access for customers to pick up their mail. It was staffed 22 hours per week, 8-10 a.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m. weekdays, and 8-10 a.m. Saturdays.
Since April, Milton customers with P.O. boxes had to drive to Cambridge City post office to get their mail, buy stamps or send packages. Cambridge City doesn’t offer 24-hour access.
Cambridge City post office staff encourage Milton residents who were picking up mail in Cambridge City to continue to check both offices for the next week or so to make sure they receive all their correspondence during the transition.
Delivery to rural Milton customers was not affected by the fire.
The postal service leases the approximately 1,000-square-foot office on South Central Avenue, more widely known as Indiana 1, from Daniel Hall.
At the time of the fire, Richard Pollitt Sr., who was chief of Milton-Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department, told Western Wayne News that the fire was reported at about 11:40 p.m. April 2. He said firefighters had the blaze contained in about 30 minutes.
Pollitt said the damage would have been much worse if neighbor Darrell Powell hadn’t seen flames in the window and called 911 quickly.
Indiana Department of Homeland Security, which includes the state fire marshal’s office, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the fire’s cause.
David Hosick, director of public affairs for IDHS, told Western Wayne News that investigators believed the blaze had started in a junk mail receptacle in the lobby In late April, Hosick said there was not enough evidence to determine one way or another what might have caused the fire.
Posters offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information about the fire’s origins. The reward was offered by International Association of Arson Investigators, Indiana Chapter #14, in cooperation with Indiana State Fire Marshal and property insurance companies operating in Indiana.