Early-morning Mill Street fire proves fatal

PLYMOUTH – One life was lost and dozens of others will have to be rebuilt after an early morning fire Thursday destroyed an historic building on East Mill Street.

Tammy L. Aschenbach, 46, was killed in the fire at 408 E. Mill St. which left three people injured. Two residents of the building suffered smoke inhalation while one firefighter suffered an injured back.

Aschenbach had exited the building safely but went back inside for her three children, not knowing that they were out of the building.

Her body was found later in the morning after investigators were able to enter the building after the fire was under control.

The fire in the two-story, six-unit apartment building was reported at 12:57 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 9.

Plymouth Police officers responding to the scene after the initial 911 call attempted to enter the building but were forced back due to the heavy smoke.


More than 130 firefighters from 19 departments battled an early-morning fire Thursday at 408 E. Mill St., a fire that left one resident dead and resulted in injuries to two other residents and a firefighter. The cause of the fire, which officials believe started on the upper floor of the two-story building, is still under investigation. More than 130 firefighters from 19 departments battled an early-morning fire Thursday at 408 E. Mill St., a fire that left one resident dead and resulted in injuries to two other residents and a firefighter. The cause of the fire, which officials believe started on the upper floor of the two-story building, is still under investigation. A total of 19 departments responded to the four-alarm fire. It took 130 firefighters six hours to get the fire under control, using nearly 300,000 gallons of water including water pumped in from the Mullet River across Mill Street.

Residents of adjacent buildings on either side of 408 E. Mill St. were also evacuated as firefighters fought to keep the fire from spreading to either of them.

Residents were able to return to 414 E. Mill St. Friday, but residents from 404 and 410 E. Mill St. were still being aided by the American Red Cross.

That agency conducted a “multi-agency resource center” Friday at Redeemer Lutheran Church for those displaced by the fire. Case workers and agencies offering aid from places to live to food and clothing and other services were on hand.


Review photos byLynn Marquardt Review photos byLynn Marquardt East Mill Street from North Street to Stafford Street was closed Thursday and Friday during the fire and after officials from the state Fire Marshall’s office began their investigation.

The street was reopened over the weekend, but closed again Monday and Tuesday when investigation resumed.

The Thursday morning fire followed a home and garage fire at W4507 State 32 in the town of Rhine at 6:11 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, that destroyed that home and garage.

Many of the fire departments that responded to the Plymouth fire less than seven hours later were also on the scene at the earlier town of Rhine fire.

The building at 408 E. Mill St. was constructed in 1910 by H. G. Genske as the Crystal Theater. Used for vaudeville acts, lectures and the like, it included a stage and opera-style seats on the first floor, with offices on the upper floor.

At some point in the 1940s, it was converted to a movie theater and renamed the Majestic Theater. After the movie theater closed, the building was converted into apartments on both floors.


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