Moulton business owners continue cleanup after fire

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MOULTON, Ala.  – Their livelihood went up in smoke in just one night. Last week’s fire in Moulton destroyed Court Street Grill and Tucker’s Auto, where Quinton Tucker and his wife Kelly lived.

Tucker had owned the shop for over ten years.

Monday was the first time they were allowed back on the property since the fire. Now, they continue the thankless task of cleaning up the ash and crumbled debris from the fire that took nearly everything.

“We’ve always said, if one goes, it’s going to be a chain reaction,” Quinton’s wife Kelly Proctor said.

And that’s what exactly what happened last week as one of Proctor’s worst fears came true.

“There was tires, oil, and gas, so a lot of the places burned extremely hot,” Proctor said.

Among the melted toolboxes and twisted metal, Kelly and Quinton say there’s nothing salvageable buried in the ash.

“It’s a total loss, it’s a total loss for us,” Proctor said.

It all has to be hauled to the dump by the trailer full. But Proctor says there was some good news. Workers and friends saved two cars that were being repaired at the auto shop.

“It just goes to show you how many people stepped in to help,” Proctor said.

The former Court Street Grill site is nearly cleaned up. But city leaders say there’ll be no saving the Willow Tree shop next door.

“We could all fold. The mayor, chief of police and business owners could all say, ‘I quit’. But that’s not Lawrence County or the town of Moulton,” Moulton Strawberry Festival organizer Stanley Johnson said.

Some of the debris is still burning, but leaders in Moulton are promising the show will go on. In a few days, they’re hosting the Strawberry Festival.

“It’s to promote the downtown square and to promote the county of Lawrence,” Johnson said.

Johnson admits there isn’t quite as much to promote after the devastating night. But neighbors and business owners are turning the page. Deja Vu Salon’s owner hopes to open in her new Northside Plaza location soon. But Proctor says she and Quinton won’t bounce back so fast.

“We hope to start rebuilding as soon as possible. But we’re not sure at this point,” Proctor said.

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