Two people found dead in Palestine building fire


PALESTINE (KYTX) - The Palestine Fire Department confirms two people are dead, one male one female, in the fire in downtown Palestine this morning. Officials are not releasing any further information about the victims at this time.



Palestine Fire Department and several other fire departments fought a major fire Saturday in the 100 block of East Oak Street in Palestine.

Palestine Police dispatch received a report of the structure fire at 119 East Oak St. Palestine Fire Department responded with three engines and a command vehicle.

Upon arrival of the battalion chief, he encountered heavy fire conditions in the rear of the building and heavy smoke throughout the structure, according to a news release from Wendy Ells, interim city manager.

Within minutes of firefighters being on the scene, the structure suffered the first of multiple collapses.

A defensive strategy was employed to protect exposures and fire personnel on the scene, the news release stated. The structure at 119 East Oak St., which reportedly housed a thrift store, was a total loss, according to the news release.

But the fire was contained to that building with surrounding structures sustaining only minimal damage from heat exposure, the news release stated.

Two Palestine firefighters suffered heat related injuries and received treatment at the scene. Multiple volunteer fire departments responded along with off-duty Palestine Fire Department personnel to battle the fire.

The Jacksonville Fire Department, Palestine Regional Emergency Medical Services, Palestine police and Palestine Public Works also provided additional resources.

The fire is under investigation. The state fire marshal's office has been contacted to assist with the investigation, the news release stated.

Some streets were closed indefinitely until the situation could be reevaluated for safety, including East Oak from Avenue A to Sycamore and Houston Street from Avenue A to Crawford Street.


PALESTINE (KYTX) - People near the location of a fire in downtown Palestine say first responders have been working all day to locate several missing people after a fire destroyed a building in the 100 block of East Oak Street.

Workers at the Denby's Restaurant and Bar saw bulldozers digging through the rubble Saturday afternoon.

The fire started early Saturday morning. Workers say the flames were shooting through the roof.


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