Fire causes significant damage to downtown Paris building

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PARIS, Tex. (KXII) - The fire in downtown Paris started in a brick, 'L' shaped building before 7 a.m. Monday morning, and a business owner right next door said she was praying the fire didn't get any closer to her store.

"I've been in business for 13 years, this store was my baby," said Robin Weemes, owner of the Itsy Bitsy Spider boutique.

Weemes said her business has smoke damage inside.

"I was terrified, there was smoke coming out the windows up here, there was smoke coming out the door, smoke was coming out everywhere. You could see the flames, and it didn't look good. All I could think is, please don't go to my store," said Weemes.

Paris Interim Fire Chief Thomas McMonigle said the part of the building that took significant damage makes an 'L' shape, meaning it has a storefront on both Main Street and Lamar Avenue, wrapping around the building on the very corner.

McMonigle said the corner building, that houses a wing and daiquiri restaurant just has smoke damage.

"It's three stories as well, things have been renovated and construction has been going on inside the building so it presented significant challenges getting to where the fire was, to be able to put it out," said McMonigle.

No one was injured in the fire, and the cause is still under investigation, though McMonigal notes there were some renovations going on inside the building recently.

Weemes said she isn't sure when she will be allowed to go back in her store, but credits the Paris Fire Department for containing the blaze before it could do damage to the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

"I saw guys come out, and they drop to their knees because they are completely exhausted, so a million thanks to the Paris Fire Department," she said.

The building owner says they will have a fire engine near the building Monday night to take care of any remaining hotspots.