The cause of a structure fire in downtown Paris that severely damaged one building and caused extensive smoke damage to several others is under investigation.
Crews were called to the scene at 7 E Plaza around 6:40 a.m. on Nov. 11, after a passerby saw smoke coming from a building.
Interim Paris Fire Chief Thomas McMonigle said that the building to which the fire began had been under renovations this past month. The building is also set in an L-shape that wraps around Daq’z Crazy and Wing’z, which is located on the corner of Lamar Ave. and N Main St.
The owner of the building, 22-year old Maverick Priest, said he didn’t know what would have caused the fire — adding that he had planned on opening what would have been an antique mall within the next few weeks. Now he is unsure if this will happen as he is awaiting information from officials on what started the fire.
Three trucks, including two ladder trucks, were staged on Lamar Ave., in front of the building with crews attempting to douse the blaze through second-story windows.
According to officials on the scene, surrounding businesses have obtained substantial smoke damage as a result of the fire. 1st Street Media production studio’s, Daq’z Crazy and Wing’z, and Itsy Bitsy Spider are the closest hit with smoke damage.
Fire crews were able to make headway and gain control of the primary fire by 11 a.m. Though McMonigle said, firefighters were still attempting to locate all the spot fires.
Lamar County CERT set up a rehab station providing food and water to firefighters as they gathered to regroup before getting back to work.
Deborah Callaway, owner of Taco Delight said that when an order came in for breakfast taco’s from Mark Farmer to take to first responders on the scene she was more than happy to help provide some food so they could continue to work.
Reno Fire Department also brought their incident command trailer into downtown to set up as a rehab station for firefighters.
Another crew of paid firefighters that volunteer with the Reno Fire Department had set up at Station 1 on N Main St., with one of their engines to be able to service any calls that would come through while the city firefighters continued to work the blaze downtown.
Downtown Paris has effectively been shut down for the duration of the day, with a fire truck and crew continuing to station in front of the structure while they investigate.
Clarksville St. was reopened at approximately 1 p.m. for through traffic on the south side of the square. By 4 p.m. the area was back open to traffic.
There were no reported injuries from the fire, and the city fire marshall will continue to investigate the cause of the blaze.