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Fire devastates Downtown Sherman’s Kelly Square

Published: Oct. 31, 2021 at 11:55 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 2, 2021 at 9:08 AM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Fire officials determined a cause behind the fire Sunday night in downtown Sherman.

In one way or another, fire officials said all 17 businesses inside Kelly Square could be dealing with smoke damage.

But for the stores where the flames burned brightest, the situation is much worse.

“There is standing water everywhere,” said Karen Tooley, the executive director of Downtown Sherman NOW. “There is black soot everywhere, on every surface, glass everywhere, and you look up in the atrium the chandeliers have melted.”

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Sunday night, flames engulfed parts of Kelly Square in downtown Sherman leaving many businesses closed and devastated.

T.J. LaRosa owns one of the stores inside called Fulbelli’s.

He and his wife were getting ready to celebrate the restaurant’s 10 year anniversary.

“It’s everything to us,” said LaRosa. “You know, when we first opened, it was a challenge, we never thought we’d make it past the first year, and then, you know, something positive happens.”

Now, they’ll have to face another challenge as they rebuild from the ashes.

He said all they can do is stay positive.

“You have to be,” said LaRosa. “That’s when I go in the corner and cry and, you know, crawl into a little ball, but I have to maintain positivity. I’ve got three young kids, I’ve got, obviously, my wife, you know, like I said, we are blessed nobody got hurt, it’s just tough.”

Fire officials think the flames started from an electrical issue, and it was an accident, so it came out of nowhere as people finished up their Halloween festivities.

“Everybody is in shock; everybody is down here crying and wondering what’s next,” said Tooley.

Sherman Fire first responded to the three-alarm blaze at 7:45 Sunday night, meaning they called in for extra help from all over Grayson County.

Sherman, Denison, Howe, Pottsboro, Whitewright, and NTRA fire crews all responded.

Meanwhile, Whitesboro Fire and Texoma EMS filled and responded to other calls as firefighters worked to calm the blaze.

It took over three hours to put out the flames.

“A building this size, it’s extremely dangerous for our crews to be inside,” said Sherman Fire Marshal Billy Hartsfield. “The Sherman Fire crews did an excellent job stopping the fire where it was and limiting the damage as much as possible.”

In the aftermath, dozens showed up Monday morning to see the damage and offer their support.

“It’s just devastating,” said Mayor David Plyler. “I mean to walk through a place you have known and loved for so many years and see it in this condition is really heartbreaking.”

Right now, store owners are assessing the damage and talking with their insurance agencies about what comes next.

As for Fulbelli’s, they said they would be back and better than ever.

This story is developing. Stay with KXII for the latest.

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