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Wise County Heritage Museum destroyed in fire

DECATUR ( — A museum in Decatur was destroyed early Saturday morning when the century-old building it was housed in caught fire, officials said.

The Decatur Fire Department confirmed the Wise County Heritage Museum burned down after catching fire in the early hours of March 18. The historic building had been standing for about 120 years before its demise.

The Wise County Heritage Museum in Decatur was destroyed in a fire on March 18. Wise County Heritage Museum via Facebook

A spokesperson said crews responded to calls about a structure fire in the 1600 block of South Trinity Street at about 1 a.m. When they arrived, firefighters reported that smoke was pouring out of the side of a three-story building.

A fire captain who made entry into the building reported that the second floor was very hot and filled with smoke. The conditions were so harsh that visibility was near zero, he said.

As additional crews arrived, the fire began to intensify. The spreading flames and smoke forced several crews to evacuate the second floor, then the building entirely.

Over the next two hours, the flames continued to ravage the stone building. Several aerial units from nearby departments were called in to help quell the inferno, but the fire ultimately destroyed the museum building.

The nearby City of Decatur Police and Develpment Services buildings sustained smoke damage, but there were thankfully no injuries.

The Decatur Fire Marshal's Office is working with the Wise County Fire Marshal and the Tarrant County Arson Task Force to figure out what caused the fire.

More information about the museum is available on its website.

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