"The Mountain" ready to kick off spring season despite devastati - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

"The Mountain" ready to kick off spring season despite devastating fire

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CANTON (KYTX) - A massive east Texas business complex has been slowly recovering --after fire damaged or destroyed more than a dozen separate businesses located at the site. Five months after the devastating fire, vendors are taking extra steps to make sure the Mountain will be ready to launch it's spring activities with success.

First Monday Trade Days in Canton begins Thursday, and The Mountain is working to make sure it's ready for shoppers.The Mountain is a unique business complex with about 120 restaurants, bed and breakfasts and small shops, and most businesses were untouched by the fire.


For the first month after the fire a lot of work was done to remove all the debris. Representatives say, although the fire was damaging, it only took out about 10 percent of the mountain. The rest of it is just fine.

As for what's going to be done with the open space... Ideas are still being placed on the table.

"Coming back to it was like a funeral it was devastating to see all the ruin," said Debbie Gabehart who after lost two of her three bed and breakfasts in the fire.

She's still trying to get her remaining business back on track.

"It was such a shock it really was 'cause this is my livelihood  in a lot of ways and this is my family," Gabehart said.

Following the fire, business owners like Gabehart have been having to explain: The Mountain complex as a whole is still open.

"We just need people to come out and support us," said vendor Kim Parker. She luckily didn't lose anything in the fire.

Mountain representatives say right now there's no concrete plan on how this space will be used, but whoever rebuilds here will have to adhere to strict new fire regulations.

Fire investigators never determined exactly how the fire began -- but they want to make sure there's not another one.   

"This was the heart of our mountain really...this was the first  part of our mountain," Parker said.

The large circular space burned by the fire has been cleared of most of the debris, but scorched trees, melted lights and caution tape still need to be removed.

"Once it's landscaped right, once it's leveled off and in right order it's gonna be beautiful."

Gabehart is optimistic and confident that in time -- The Mountain will be even better than it was before that devastating fire.

The mountain is just one popular venue that shoppers are sure to hit up during first Monday trade days in Canton.
It starts Thursday and runs through Sunday.

Some potential uses for the space could be new shops, but it could also be used as a play area, a seating area, or a location for music performances.

When the fire first happened, there was a lot of speculation as to what caused it... But again the official cause is listed as un-determined.

Mountain representatives say, the fire caused so much damage to any evidence -- there was no way to clearly pin-point what actually caused the fire.


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