7 E. Plaza Fire

Firefighters responded this morning to a structure fire at 7 E. Plaza. They remained on scene battling the blaze at press time.

A fully-involved structure fire shut down much of downtown Paris this morning, as firefighters battled a blaze at 7 E. Plaza. At press time, firefighters remained on the scene fighting the flames.

Responders received the call at roughly 6:40 a.m., and upon arrival found the building consumed in heavy smoke with flames emanating from the upstairs. It is still unclear how the fire started.

Interim Fire Chief Thomas McMonigle said there were difficulties in fighting the fire, as the high temperatures in the building limited access to firefighters, and water supply was hindered due to the heavy construction in the area.

“The construction guys have been great in helping us, but it did lead to diminished water when we started fighting the fire,” he said.

To better fight the fire, much of downtown has been closed off, from roughly 2nd Street to the downtown square.

“I’d recommend people try to avoid downtown the best that they can this afternoon,” McMonigle said. “It was kind of a mess down here, trying to get the trucks and water supply, with all the construction and whatnot.”

At press time, there was no estimate of how long it would take to fully quell the fire, he said.

“I really can’t say how long it’ll take to put out, and even if we get the fire stopped right now, we’d still be on scene for a few more hours.”

It does not appear that anyone was in the building when it caught on fire, McMonigle said, and no firefighters have been injured in fighting the blaze.

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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