Big fire destroyed Wise County Historical Heritage Museum

Early Saturday morning, a building fire destroyed the longtime Wise County Museum.

Just after midnight, fire brigades responded to reports of a fire in the southern part of the city in the 1600 block of South Trinity Street, according to the Decatur Fire Department.

Upon arrival, the crews reported a three-story massive wooden house with smoke coming from one side. The units quickly broke into the entrance and occupied the manual lines to the first and then to the second floor. The fire captain on the second floor reported intense heat and smoke, with visibility approaching zero.

As more fire units arrived and extended their arms and supply lines to support the fight, fire conditions quickly changed. The abrupt change of fire and smoke forced numerous fire brigades to climb from the second floor to the first, and then immediately exit through the front door.

Decatur Fire reports that heavy fire and smoke ravaged the historic stone building for the next two hours, when mutual aid air units were called in to put out the blaze.

The fire eventually destroyed the three-story building, which was completed and first occupied in the spring of 1893.

There was no one in the building at the time of the fire and no one was reported injured. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

According to the Decatur fire, nearby Decatur City Police and Development Services buildings were affected by smoke and odor.

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