Investigating the downtown Bonham fire

By: Daniel Gotera Email
By: Daniel Gotera Email

BONHAM, Tex. -- It's been a week since a fire destroyed part of downtown Bonham, and investigators still don't know the cause. There's a chance the answers may take a while to come out.

One week later, the northwest corner of the downtown Bonham Square still lies in ruins.

"We knew this was a big one, and we put everyone out there when we got the call on Thursday morning."

Allen Wilson and his company Surpro are just one of many clean-up crews working on those buildings fortunate enough to be still standing.

"We’re cleaning up the walls and everything and once we do all that we will then go in and remodel."

Two were a total loss, and the fire that claimed them brought back memories for Bonham Fire Chief Bill Palya, who went through the same type of fire in Sherman in the late eighties.

"It’s been on my mind since I got here so I knew what we had to do and we had talked about it happening so they did a good job for the stop."

Now officials need to determine a cause. They believe the fire began on the northwest corner of buildings and determined the site was not safe enough to conduct a full investigation.

Caylor says the west wall of the building that was destroyed last week is still unstable and could topple down at any minute, but they continue to collect evidence when conditions are favorable to determine a cause.

"With the wall being as unstable as it is, it’s just too much to go digging in there and moving stuff around so we really don’t know."

Officials say the more damage happens to the site, the more it could possibly destroy evidence vital to determining a cause.

They hope the structure holds so they can move on to try and restore downtown Bonham.

"A lot of people hope to fit the style of our downtown."

Crews are expected to start cleaning up the debris Friday morning.

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  • by Res. of Bonham Location: Bonham Community on Jun 23, 2007 at 12:06 PM
    The investigation shouldn't stop. This is apart of history of Bonham, Fannin Co., Texas. If Mr. James Child of Child's Flooring doesn't won't any more action done from Fire Marshal Caylor, then we know who/what started the fire. Why doesn't Mr. Caylor interview Mr. James Childs. Mr Child was having problems with his insurance and couldn't get some thing worked out and then the fire happen. Does that sound weird and odd? F.M. Caylor needs to still look in on what really happen to our downtown square. Our lives are in Fannin Co. and we need to keep every historic thing together and not let it go away. Ciziten of Bonham
  • by Sherri Location: Vegas on Jun 9, 2007 at 09:23 AM
    I hated to read that Bewley's was gone. I remember shopping there when I was a kid. I'd go get something for my mom for Mother's Day or for her Birthday there. I don't remember the owner's name back then but he was always nice and had a friendly face. I'd go just to look at all the neat things they sold. (I remember when Ben Franklin's was there, where the Dollar General is now.) I hope it was an accident and not intentional.
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