Paoli starts recovery after town square fire

Published: Nov. 16, 2010 at 1:20 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2010 at 5:00 AM EST
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Kenny Clark
Kenny Clark
Ronnie Moon
Ronnie Moon
Nancy Davis Metz
Nancy Davis Metz

Paoli, IN - By Paige Quiggins - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - On a weekend in the middle of November, a fire destroyed a historic part of Paoli, Indiana. To those who grew up in the small town, the future for downtown is forever changed.

"This is an old town you can look around at all the other buildings you know have been here back in the 1900's," said Kenny Clark.

The close-knit community has become devastated after their livelihoods were interrupted by a force of nature.

"We were all remembering the square and just went back 30, 40 years in time and it was frozen for us at that moment and it's really hard to see it today," said Nancy Davis Metz.

For Metz, the loss of the Old National Bank hit close to home. Her father worked in the bank for 42 years, and passed away earlier this year.

To cope with the loss of much of the town square area, others have decided to hold on to remnants of what used to be.

"I come to town on a Saturday night, double parked here on the square, the businesses stayed open until 9 o'clock at night. Farmers come in and hang out," said Ronnie Wood.

According to residents, the damage will take a long time to repair, and likely will not come easy.

"I'm not sure whether this is the poorest county in the state now or not, we always run neck and neck with crawford county," said Ronnie Moon.

On Nov. 13, those memories became all the town had for the town square that was once full of life. For now, the focus is on salvaging what they can out of the ashes.

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