Questions linger after downtown Denison inferno - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Questions linger after downtown Denison inferno

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A view from the alley behind buildings that were destroyed or damaged in a downtown Denison fire on October 9, 2019. (KTEN) A view from the alley behind buildings that were destroyed or damaged in a downtown Denison fire on October 9, 2019. (KTEN)
A look at the devastation after a fire on Denison's Main Street. (KTEN) A look at the devastation after a fire on Denison's Main Street. (KTEN)
First responders enjoyed a free lunch in Denison on Friday. (KTEN) First responders enjoyed a free lunch in Denison on Friday. (KTEN)

DENISON, Texas -- The City of Denison is still looking for answers after Wednesday's downtown fire that resulted in the collapse of one commercial building and heavy damage to adjacent structures.

Denison Mayor Janet Gott issued a declaration naming the 300 block of Main Street a local disaster. The declaration will let the city utilize additional resources to assist in cleanup and recovery.

Many questions remain about the future of the damaged properties in the heart of the city's downtown district.

"We'll start looking at all the incremental things that we need to do to put in place in order to kind of get redevelopment going in those places on Main Street," said Denison Development Alliance president Tony Kaai. "We are totally focused on getting it cleaned up and getting a plan together to get it redeveloped."

There is no word on when structural engineers will be able to get into the buildings to assess the damage.

Meanwhile, Denison residents are coming together to help the businesses and individuals that were displaced by Wednesday's blaze.

First United Bank held a fundraiser on Friday. They had hot dogs, baked goods and free food for the city's first responders, who were boosted by help from their colleagues across Texoma.

"You saw saw Sherman, you saw Bonham, Howe, North Texas Airport, Durant, Calera... just everyone came down together, and that's who we are," said Jessica Duce of First United Bank. "When we see an opportunity to help those in need, we're going to jump on it."

Donations to a fund targeting recovery and relief operations are welcome at any First United Bank branch across Texas and Oklahoma.

KTEN reporters Baylee Bates and Mackailyn Johnson in Denison contributed to this story.

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