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Large Fire Destroys Historic Wise County Heritage Museum

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A structure fire destroyed the longstanding Wise County Museum early Saturday morning.

Just after midnight, fire crews responded to the report of a structure fire on the south side of the city in the 1600 block of South Trinity Street, according to Decatur Fire Department.

Upon arriving, crews reported a three-story heavy timber building with smoke coming from one side. Units quickly forced entry and took hand lines to the first and then second floor. A Fire Captain on the second floor reported heavy heat and smoke conditions with visibility nearing zero.

As additional fire units arrived, they stretched hand and supply lines in support of suppression the fire conditions changed rapidly. The aggressive change in fire and smoke forced numerous fire crews from the second floor to the first then immediately out the front door.

Decatur Fire says heavy fire and smoke conditions ravaged the historical stone building for the next two hours as mutual aid aerial units were called to tamp the flames.

The fire ultimately destroyed the three-story building which was built and first occupied in the spring of 1893.

No one was in the building at the time of the fire and there were no injuries reported by first responders. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

According to Decatur fire, nearby City of Decatur Police and Development Services buildings sustained smoke and odor damage.

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