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Historic and ‘haunted’ landmark up in smoke

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SHERRY LONG
The Ellis County Press

WAXAHACHIE - A historic and haunted Waxahachie landmark restaurant, the Catfish Plantation built in 1895, burst into flames about 9:45 p.m. Sunday, June 29.

Most of the damage sustained by the 108-year old Victorian landmark began outside the structure in a fenced-off storage area and quickly spread to the rear of the building and roof, Waxahachie Fire Marshal Larry Bright said.

Firefighters were pulled out of the structure to fight the blaze from the outside, so no one would be injured.

Bright said it took firefighters a while to battle the blaze, because of the way the historic building was designed.

About 40 personnel from Midlothian, Red Oak, Ovilla, Waxahachie Rural and City of Waxahachie Fire Departments participated in battling the blaze getting it 'under control' by 2 a.m., Bright said.

'The cause of the fire is still under investigation,' according to Bright.

Jimmy Poarch, co-owner of the Catfish Plantation said, he estimated damages at $250,000 or more.

It is still undetermined if the restaurant will be rebuilt and restored to its former glory.

'We don't know yet,' Poarch said 'We're looking at all our options.'

Famous for its permanent residents - the ghostly kind - people traveled from near and far to dine in 'America's Most Haunted Restaurant.'

Catfish Plantation was 'one of the most famous tourism attractions for Waxahachie next to the Ellis County Courthouse,' according to the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce. A restaurant review once heralded, 'The Catfish Plantation serves some of the best Cajun food this side of the Louisiana-Texas state line.'

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