Fire Destroys Downtown Store, Salon

8-20-06 - Fire destroyed two downtown Howe businesses late Saturday night; two other businesses also sustained damages.

The fire broke out at around 9:45 p.m. in the Old McClain Country Store on Hanning Street. The three alarm fire tore through the store and the neighboring salon within minutes. The Howe Fire Chief said this was one of the most devastating fires in recent history.

More than 50 Howe, Van Alstyne, Sherman, Collinsville, and Gunter firefighters battled the flames until about 10:45 p.m. when the fire was finally doused. A video store and Italian restaurant in the strip mall also sustained water damage, but a concrete wall kept the fire contained to the salon and grocery store.

The Sherman and Howe fire chiefs returned to the scene on Sunday morning to investigate the cause. So far, officials believe the fire started in the grocery store’s kitchen area. An old electrical plug may be to blame.

The store and salon were closed at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.