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Officials search for answers to cause of Sir’s Fabrics fire

FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. -- There is no official word yet on the cause of the devastating fire at Sir's Fabrics in downtown Fayetteville. The Tennessee State Fire Marshal was at the site Monday, investigating what started the fire. The Fayetteville Fire Department was on day three at Sir's Fabrics.

"We still have some hot spots. I think we're 99 percent done," said the Interim Fire Chief Fayetteville Fire Department, Coby Moon. "I'm sure we'll get a few that will kick back up but we should be finished here today."

The fire first broke out around 6 p.m. Saturday and reignited around 1 a.m. Sunday.

"When all of this stuff fell in on top of itself, and then, I mean no matter how much water we put on it, some things just didn't get any water on it," Moon said. "So it'll sit there and smolder until it finally shows itself."

The fire was contained to Sir's though some of the neighboring buildings sustained damage. Moon said the side First United Methodist Church next door did catch fire. And the glass protecting the stained glass windows got so hot, it burst. He said the help from neighboring departments was vital in stopping the fire from spreading further.

"Eventually I made that determination that it was just time to go defensive, and we needed some help," Moon said. "At that time we made the call and the help poured in."

Moon said most everyone in the area knew Sir's, saying people came from all over to shop there.

"There's no telling how many wedding dresses, prom dresses, I mean it's a horrible loss," Moon said. "And hopefully, he'll rebuild and open back up and continue."

Others in the community shared that sentiment saying they hope Sir's will eventually reopen.

Craig and Christina Freehauf own the Lincoln Theater, the only building actually attached to Sir's Fabrics. They said they got a call at 3:30 Saturday morning saying their theater, which was built in 1951, was on fire.
"It was built to be fireproof, but it was designed to handle fires that happen inside it, not outside," said Craig Freehauf.

They said the roof of the theater did catch fire and caused an estimated eight-thousand dollars in damages to the brick wall that backed up to Sir's Fabrics.

"We dodged a bullet that the theater wasn't actually more damaged than it was," said Freehauf.

Utility crews worked Monday to finish restoring power to the neighboring buildings and replaced damaged power lines. Freehauf said he was shocked at how quickly they worked to restore their power on Saturday.

"I asked him how much longer do you think it would be to get the power on, and he said well we've got to replace this pole," Freehauf said. "About two hours later that pole was replaced and they had power to the theater, and I was like, 'Wow that was fast.'"

The owner of Sir's Fabrics shared a statement on Facebook thanking the fire and police departments for their courageous work. And said they appreciate the outpouring of love and support.

Christina Freehauf said Sir's wasn't just a fabric store, half of the building was used as a space for local vendors to sell their products,
"So there are lots of people in the community that had booths that lost lots of merchandise also," Christina Freehauf said.

Sir's drew in people from all over. Freehauf said that just this past Saturday some tourists walked in for a tour of the theater. "They said that they were from Nashville and they come on a regular basis all the way from Nashville just for Sir's."

She said the other local business in downtown Fayetteville feel the loss of Sir's not only for the business it brought but as an integral part of the community.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to benefit the employees who were impacted by the loss of the store, as they move forward.