End of trail; Early morning fire destroys restaurant
WAXAHACHIE - An early morning five- alarm fire devastated numerous individuals as it destroyed parts of historic downtown Waxahachie Tuesday, Jan. 18.
According to the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, the fire broke out sometime after 4 a.m. at the 1879 Chisholm Grill restaurant located on the 100 block of South College Street, east of the courthouse.
The historic courthouse was without power and closed for the day. The fire quickly spread to adjourning businesses along the town square.
Four area fire crews were on hand for assistance.
According to reports, the fire started on the top floor of the restaurant, which led to the floor collapsing, causing a wall to fall over.
Once the wall was down, the fire spread to the law office located next to the restaurant, then an antique shop.
CBS 11 news reported firefighters also sprayed water into an interior decorating business in an attempt to stop the fire from spreading any further.
Waxahachie Fire Chief David Hudgins said the department reported to the scene within minutes but the flames had already shot through the roof.
According to CBS 11 news, more than three hours was spent battling the flames when rescue crews thought things were under control until the fire flared up again and the crew had to continue their efforts. Built in 1912, the Chisholm Grill restaurant alone has been valued at about $435,000.
Owner Scott Otto purchased the restaurant three weeks ago.
Numerous reports indicate Otto will rebuild but, he can’t replace the memorabilia dating back to the days when the restaurant began as a general store in the 1800s.
In the 1870s, The Chisholm Trail was in its heyday, with cattle herds driven north on this famous trail from South Texas through Oklahoma to the stockyards and railroads of Kansas, to be shipped back East.
A row of small wood-frame structures housed The General Store and several saloons in the vicinity of where the 1879 Chisholm Grill stands, thus the name, Chisholm Grill.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
There were no reported injuries.