Denison deals with 'devastating reality' after downtown fire - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Denison deals with 'devastating reality' after downtown fire

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The aftermath of a fire in the 300 block of Main Street in downtown Denison. (KTEN) The aftermath of a fire in the 300 block of Main Street in downtown Denison. (KTEN)
Flames engulfed the Luxor Nails & Spa in downtown Denison on October 9, 2019. (KTEN) Flames engulfed the Luxor Nails & Spa in downtown Denison on October 9, 2019. (KTEN)
Multiple fire agencies battled the fire at a downtown Denison business on October 9, 2019. (KTEN) Multiple fire agencies battled the fire at a downtown Denison business on October 9, 2019. (KTEN)

DENISON, Texas -- A structural engineer has been called in to evaluate the damage after Wednesday's massive fire in downtown Denison, which is now being considered by the city as a local disaster.

"The worst possible nightmare for a city with a historic downtown had just become a devastating reality," Mayor Janet Gott said at a news conference Thursday morning.

The fire broke out around 10 a.m. Wednesday at Luxor Nails & Spa, 317 West Main Street. Within an hour the flames consumed the entire building, which dates to the turn of the 20th century. The structure then collapsed.

Adjoining buildings were also damaged by the smoke and flames.

Three families lost their homes, but no one was injured.

"Within hours, this community rallied to take care of their every need, because that's just what Denison does," Gott said.

She said the city will now begin to move forward on the next steps.

"Denison is a resilient city with a history that spans well over a century. Main Street represents all of that history, and the damage 
suffered yesterday will ultimately become a part of our history, but it will not determine our future," the mayor said.

Main Street was still closed to traffic on Thursday evening. Denison Main Street director Donna Dow said the city is making a list of resources to share with fire victims.

"Our hearts go out to all those who lost their homes and businesses," Dow said. "Just let us know how we can help."

City Manager Jud Rex said there will be a continuing police presence along Main Street to secure the damaged buildings. He made it clear that what happens next could be a long process.

"This was a devastating fire, and cleanup is not going to happen overnight," he said.

The Denison Chamber of Commerce said it would provide work spaces and a board room for anyone displaced by the fire who needs to get work done.

First United Bank is raising funds for businesses and individuals who were victims of the fire. Donations are being accepted at the bank's office at 931 West Main Street in Denison for the account "Denison Forward."

The bank is also hosting two events on Friday to support first reponders and the downtown community: A bake sale from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and a hot dog lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A benefit concert to raise money for fire repairs is being set for November 10.


Map locates the site of the downtown Denison fire. (Google Earth)

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