Fire damaged five buildings in downtown Shelbyville after flames engulfed a historic building.
Rubble continued to burn Thursday beneath the surface in a basement area.
Demolition is already underway in the 600 block of Main Street.
This is what the building looked like before the fire. (Source: Shelby County Historical Society)
SHELBYVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Fire damaged five buildings in downtown Shelbyville after flames engulfed a historic building. Rubble continued to burn Thursday beneath the surface in a basement area, according to Assistant Fire Chief Chris Spalding.
Demolition is already underway in the 600 block of Main Street. Firefighters remained on site as the partial owner decided what to do next with property.
"I didn't have a whole lot of insurance on the buildings up there. I've had them for 30 years," Jim Reynolds said. Reynolds owned the buildings that used to be listed at 612 Main and 614 Main. He recently sold 616 Main, a vacant building under renovation, to Fiesta Mexicana. The restaurant, popular with locals, was located at 614 Main and planned to expand.
Those three buildings crumbled Wednesday after an early morning fire. All three were two-story historic structures built in the late 1890s and early 1900s.
"This thing has been burning continuously," Assistant Chief Spalding said. There was still a fire Thursday afternoon.
"There's so much timber and fuel load there. It's nearly impossible to extinguish the small flames underneath because it's in the basement," Spalding said. "We believe it's safe for demolition to happen, and we'll be on site if anything flares up."
Creative Spirits Counseling was located at 612 Main Street. "We just did a rehab for a drug and alcohol center that moved in and spent $50,000 to get her set up and moved in. She lost everything she had," Reynolds said. There were also two apartments above the businesses.
Reynolds also owned a neighboring building located at 618 Main Street. Part of the wall from the collapsed structure destroyed the roof of the one-story structure. "When that wall collapsed and fell on top of it, just icing on the cake. All gone. It's just all gone," Reynolds said.
There also is damage to another building's roof and backside at 620 Main Street. Owner Glen Wiecek said insurance adjusters will be there Thursday to determine what it will cost to make repairs.
As for the future of the 600 block, Reynolds said he's spent. "The Mexican restaurant wants to rebuild, so we may move on with our lives and let them take over here," Reynolds said.
It's a landscape other merchants are still trying to comprehend. "That's a tremendous loss. This is going to be a big hole along downtown Main Street," said Teresa McKinley, owner of McKinley's Bread and Deli Shop.
Investigators with the state fire marshal office will visit the site Thursday. City and state building inspectors will determine which buildings are structurally sound and can remain occupied.
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