Fire Destroys Historic Downtown Waxahachie
WAXAHACHIE (CBSDFW.COM) – A fire devastated part of historic downtown Waxahachie early Tuesday morning. The fire broke out around 4:00 a.m. at the 1879 Chisholm Grill restaurant, located on South College Street. It then spread to nearby stores and businesses.
The fire started on the top floor of the restaurant, authorities said, which led the floor collapsing, causing a wall to fall over. Once the wall was down, the fire spread to a law office located next to the restaurant, then an antique shop. Firefighters also sprayed water into an interior decorating business in an attempt to stop the fire from spreading any further.
After more than three hours of battling the flames, crews thought that things were under control. But then the fire flared up again, and crews had to continue their efforts.
There were no injuries reported in the early morning fire.
The 1879 Chisholm Grill restaurant alone has been valued at about $435,000. Owner Scott Otto had just purchased the restaurant three weeks ago. “We’ve had people that’s been coming for years and years and years. They ate here way before us,” he told CBS 11 News. “We got to hear the stories the last two weeks about everything, and how much they’ve enjoyed it, and wedding parties and receptions.”
“I think it’ll be missed,” Otto added.
Although he is devastated, Otto said that he is determined to rebuild the restaurant.
The restaurant is connected to six other buildings, all built nearly 120 years ago. At least five businesses inside those buildings received heavy fire, smoke and water damage.
The buildings sit at the back of the equally historic Ellis County Courthouse, which was not damaged.
For the past four decades, Raul Garcia’s White House Barbershop has operated right in the middle of the historic district, named after it’s majestic courthouse.
The fire at the restaurant two doors down from Garcia burned him out too, for now. “I’ve been there 44 years in same spot. My plan is get a place for three months, and rebuild. I want to come back to downtown where I’ve always been.
Residents say the fire hit the town pretty hard. “We know the folks who are involved, and it’s just sad for them. I hope they will be able to rebuild,” says resident Carol Farrar.
Fire investigators cannot yet gain access the burned out buildings to try and determine a cause. They say it is still too dangerous.