Fire Destroys Historic Building in Boaz

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BOAZ, Ala. (WHNT) - A plume of smoke rose above downtown Boaz Wednesday evening, marking the spot where fire slowly destroyed a historic building.

"Goodness alive, it's pitiful," Millard Arrington told WHNT News 19.  He owns Boaz Jewelry, a business housed in the building that was more than a century old.  Arrington says he lost some items that just cannot be replaced.  "I've got a pie safe that my grandmother and grandfather used.  It's over 100 years old right there in that window and I just want to go knock that window out and get that pie safe out, but they don't let you do that."

Firefighters from the City of Boaz and surrounding communities battled the heat and flames for hours.   The building, which housed the jewelry store and the International Order of Odd Fellows, was being renovated as part of a project for the entire downtown.

"It's sad to lose any building, especially one like the International Order of the Odd Fellows," said Boaz Mayor Tim Walker.  "It's an old established group here in town and I hate for them because that's kind of a piece of history there, and of course there's a jewelry store right under it and of course we never like to lose any business."

Millard Arrington says he won't rebuild.  "I'm too old to run a store anyway.  I'll be 86 years old the seventh day of December, and this is time to quit."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.