This picture was taken at around 3:40p.m. - 1 hour and 40 minutes after the call.
Fire destroys downtown Chilton buildingsBy Christine Kern, Staff Writer, Marlin Democrat
A fire starting at Jo Ann’s Kitchen in downtown Chilton destroyed five adjoining stores. As the fire was brought under control, later that evening, at least twelve fire departments from three counties were fighting the blaze.
“This is a big loss for Chilton,” Mike Gillespi, a Chilton resident, said. He said the dinner was the only one in town, and the fire could wipe the town out.
The fire on Tuesday, September 26, originated as a grease fire in the kitchen of the diner, spreading through out the whole diner. No civilians were hurt, only fire fighters who were treated for heat exhaustion.
As the winds shifted, it carried the flames from the diner to the other stores, billowing out from the broken windows and doors. Water became an issue as the fire progressed, calling various volunteer fire departments to bring both more manpower to the fire and water. Dozen Chilton residents were on the scene from the beginning handing out water and wet towels to the fire fighters. Volunteers from Marlin, Lott, Golinda, Bruceville-Eddy, Troy, Lorena, Robinson, Moody, Hewitt, Woodway and Westphilia brought their water tankers to supply the water that was needed to put the blaze down.
The call for the fire came through Marlin dispatch around 2p.m., and the first call for back up came soon afterwards. Out of the six stores on the block, only two were occupied, Jo Ann’s Kitchen and the Church of Agape. Only the church was saved, all the others were gutted and destroyed due to the fire.
This is the front of the building, around 3:43p.m.
I left the scene around 5:15p.m., and this was some of what the building looked like. The first two stores were totally open, roof collapsed, and retaining walls barely standing. The Church was the only part of the row not consumed in flames, at the time.
I am happy to say I took all the pictures of this fire... And they are still property of The Marlin Democrat, Marlin, Texas - edited on 9/27/06