Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


April 30, 2013

Formidable fire decimates downtown building

'So sad to see more of our history go up in smoke.'


JACKSONVILLE — Abell Pharmacy –

January 1980

The Abell Pharmacy burned and was de-stroyed  in January 1980, after years of its owner, pharmacist  James Ed-ward Abell, doing renovations in the evenings and on weekends. Abell chose not to rebuild.

“The Big Downtown Fire”' – January 1989

A January 1989 fire that spread from building to building left four buildings at a total loss and burned so hot – and radiated heat so far – that it was impossible to touch a glass front door at the former police department, remembers Mariann Lindsey, Jacksonville dispatch supervisor.

Starting at Elaine's on the corner of Commerce and Bolton, it continued  burning until it consumed the other structures, including a jewelry store and a bakery, she said.

At the time the city didn't have a ladder truck and one had to be ferried from Tyler.

“It burned for a couple of days and was a total loss,” Lindsey said. “Someone was arrested for arson and went to jail over that one.”

 Trinity Church Furniture Warehouse – November 2009

 The vacant Trinity Church Furniture manufacturing warehouse, across from Twin Oaks Nursing Home, was completely destroyed during a morning fire on Nov. 11, 2009.

Jacksonville Fire Department was alerted at 10:05 a.m.  and crews from Jacksonville, New Summerfield, North Cherokee, Bullard and Earle's Chapel fire departments were on scene shortly.

Oncor trucks were summoned to the scene to turn off the gas supply. Fire department officials said a 2-inch gas line ran behind the building.

The fire spread beyond the main structure.

Fire department officials reported several vacant structures in the area were a total loss.

They also reported the fire continued to spread at 10:42 a.m., when a small structure on the south side of the main fire was reportedly beginning to burn.

Also, the fire was spreading into the surrounding wooded area toward nearby residences.

Grass fire trucks and an air trailer were also called to the scene.

Crews were still on scene battling the fire at 2:18 p.m. that day,

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