Fire destroys historic businesses in downtown Crystal Springs - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Fire destroys historic businesses in downtown Crystal Springs

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, MS (WLBT) - Investigators with the State Fire Mashal's office sifted through rubble Monday afternoon on South Jackson Street in Crystal Springs.  They were looking for any clues as to what started the blaze.

Hours earlier, the flames were out of control, shooting through the historic Jackson Street buildings. "The fire was in the ceiling. It broke through the back. We probably got seven, eight, nine departments with Byram's ladder truck," said volunteer Fire Chief James Barnes.

The fire destroyed Mr. D's restaurant, a frame and alterations shop and a Masonic lodge. 

"That old building had a lot of pine lumber in it, hard pine I'm sure.  There's no way to control a fire like this. We've been afraid of something like this for some time," said Mississippi Supreme Court Justice and Masonic leader Jim Kitchens.

The blaze also consumed the Hale family home.  John Hale and his 12-year-old daughter were sleeping in the apartment located above Trinity Cafe.  His wife saw the smoke from the street and alerted her family.

"She just blew the horn and hollered fire because right there where the water is going in, that's our bedroom," said Hale.

Power was knocked out to businesses and schools in the area closing classes for the day. 

Mayor Arthur Evans calls the destroyed buildings a tremendous loss for the city.

"As much as we can get back to normal that will help us start to heal," said Mayor Evans.

Power was restored Monday afternoon and school is scheduled to resume Tuesday.

©2010 WLBT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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