Officials investigate massive business fire in Crystal Springs - - Jackson, MS

Fire officials investigate massive business fire in Crystal Springs

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CRYSTAL SPRINGS, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

By Katina Rankin - bio | email

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, MS (WLBT) - A massive fire broke out in the Crystal Springs downtown area early Monday morning. The fire started around 1 AM In the one hundred block of South Jackson Street.
Smoke billowed, flames raged, embers flew in the air as the historic buildings burned to the ground.   Among the businesses destroyed: an alteration shop, a framework business and Mr. D's Restaurant.

"Very vital to the city of Crystal Springs" said Mayor Arthur Evans. "The building has been here since the city has been here. Mr. D's been in business for several years."

The mayor says one person was actually inside some apartments up above the Trinity Café.   Firemen were able to go in, get him out. a

We found John Hale, standing and watching everything he owned burn.

"(my wife) Just blew the horn and hollered fire." said Hale. "Because right there where the water is going in, right there where that air conditioner is that's our bedroom and I walked to the window and heard her screaming fire, so we got what we could get and came downstairs."

A staple in the downtown community since 1927 also burned. Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Jim Kitchens says the Masonic Lodge Number 452 is no more.

 "I'm so sad about all of those businesses and the people who are affected by it" said Justice Kitchens. "But that old lodge meant a lot to a great many people in this town for a long time."

And so did the Trinity Café that also housed the Grace Bible Mission.

"My bible was in there and I wanted to get my bible out" said Trinity Cafe co-owner Debbie Roberts. "But they wouldn't let me go back.  (My Bible is) very important. It has a lot of memories, a lot of important dates in there. I wanted my bible but my heart goes out to the folks who lived upstairs. They lost everything. The hale family lost everything they had."

"We alive" Hale added. "That's the main thing."

Meantime, the massive inferno knocked out power to the area. And by daybreak as residents came out to gaze at the burned structures, school officials decided to close shop because there was no lights.  

Later in the morning, Mayor Evans told us Entergy was on site and workers had almost completely restored power.

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