Fire devastates downtown Bonham

By: Nicole Holt Email
By: Nicole Holt Email
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BONHAM, Tex. -- Fire has ravaged part of the Fannin County city's downtown square, leaving three buildings in shambles. When crews arrived they saw smoke coming from one of the buildings, and in a short amount of time it spread uncontrollably.

Thursday morning daylight brought about crumbling shells of what used to be the heart of Bonham, Texas.

The fire started around 11 o'clock Wednesday night at the Child's Flooring America store and quickly spread to neighboring businesses Allstate Insurance and Bewley's Five & Dime.

The flames from the fire rose 30 to 50 feet in the air, and crews from Dodd City, Honey Grove, Sherman, and Denison were called in to help battle the blaze.

Hundreds of spectators gathered on the Fannin County Courthouse lawn across the street from the fire to watch part of the county's history go down in flames.

"A building like this, more than a hundred years old, has seen a lot of history here in Bonham, Texas, and we're sad to lose the building, but thankfully nobody was hurt," said Bonham mayor Roy Floyd.

Piles of stone and rubble are all that remain of Child’s Flooring and Bewley’s Five And Dime.

The street is blocked off at East Fifth and Main Street on the square.

The north wall of Child's Flooring collapsed at two o’clock Wednesday morning four hours after the fire began. The front wall fell hours later.

Bewley’s Five and Dime closed four months ago and was about to undergo renovations.

The Allstate Insurance building suffered smoke and water damage, and owners say it’s a total loss.

But residents say its unnerving to see what was a big part of the community now gone.

"When you lose something that has been with you for a long time… a part of the community, it’s always sad to lose something like that," said Bonham resident Bill Farris.

These building were more than 100 years old, and firefighters say that made it especially difficult to extinguish the fire.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

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  • by Jeff Location: Bonham on Jan 1, 2008 at 10:16 PM
    I am not a pothead or white trash.God bless you.
  • by Bob Location: Lubbock on Jun 5, 2007 at 07:07 PM
    I just heard about the fire in Bonham. I remember one of the buildings as J. C. Penney's. I haven't lived in Bonham in over 20 years but it is sad to hear about this fire. Bonham is trying to be progressive and I think it is successful. I live in a city that tries to be like Dallas but I like it better as good old Lubbock. I hope Bonham will be successful in doing something progress with what remains of the west side of the square. I was in Bonham 10 days ago and things looked pretty good.
  • by Bethany Location: Ector, Tx. on Jun 1, 2007 at 03:26 PM
    When my husband called me and told me about this, I didn't really think that it had happened. I remember shopping in Bewley's and they always had some of the neatest things there; things that you couldn't find anywhere else. Big thanks to all the firefighters that did their best job possible to contain this fire and I know that Bonham will do just fine. True, it is devastating, but I know the people in Bonham will persevere through this. God Bless everyone!
  • by midniteryder Location: Sherman on Jun 1, 2007 at 03:20 PM
    As tragic as the loss of these businessesare, to say this fire "devastated" downtown Bonham is stretching things a bit. My heart goes out to the folks whoran for and worked at these businesses, don't get me wrong- I hope they can get it together again. But the fact remins that a large part of downtown Bonham is STILL standing. Sensationalist headlines are out of place here- save 'em for the supermarket tabloids. Just so you think I don't give a rip, I do sincerely hope these folks can relocate and re-open soon. To lose these businesses would not be good for the local economy.
  • by Amanda Location: Bonham on Jun 1, 2007 at 09:09 AM
    To Jimmy JHON it is citizens like you that make our town exactly what you think of it. Contrary to your belief, there is a lot more than what you think in this town. I don't think you've left your white trash and pothead friends bedroom long enough to find what's really in Bonham! This fire is very devastating especially to those who know and love our small community! For you, Jimmy JHONS, there's not a single thread of hope that you could even understand the heartache these business owners and caring community members feel. It is in our prayers that you could someday find what it is that we (caring community) love about our community! Have a wonderful day and God Bless you Jimmy!
  • by Tom Location: Antlers on Jun 1, 2007 at 02:13 AM
    I am reminded of a huge fire 1980 that burned up a clothing store there on the west side of the square about the same time South Side Grocery burned to the ground.
  • by Jimmy JHON Location: bedroom on Jun 1, 2007 at 12:37 AM
    To bad it didn't take the whole town. Nothing but white trash and pot heads in bonham!!!
  • by Blake West Location: Bonham, TX on May 31, 2007 at 10:21 PM
    This is one of Bonham's darkest days ever. Seeing our most popular Landmarks for over a centery go down in flames. I was there watching this whole tragic event take place. To everyone from Bonham, Ector, Dodd City, Sherman, Denison, Honey Grove, and Randolph Fire Depts. Thanks for your help. My hat go off to our real heros, the Fire Fighters of Texomaland. This day will be remembered for ever in this small town we call, Bonham.
  • by Heather Location: Dodd City on May 31, 2007 at 10:21 PM
    I just cant believe my eyes on this.. I was with my boyfriend when this happend he was taking me home and when he called to have a report for a story on this ...
  • by rda Location: Honey Grove on May 31, 2007 at 07:39 PM
    I'm sorry to hear of the fire. Bewley's has been in Bonham for years, and the other businesses damaged are also an asset to Bonham. Thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their business.
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