Mineral Wells Area News

Fannin Building Fire in Mineral Wells

Fannin Building Fire in Mineral Wells
November 15
18:43 2021

Story By Amy Sabbatini Bearden

Video By Stacy Blackburn

Mineral Wells Fire Department battled a huge blaze at the old historical Fannin Building on the evening of November 14. The building was fully engulfed when crews arrived and because of the age of the structure and intensity of the fire, emergency service crews immediately went on a defensive battle to save the structure from the outside. The structure was deemed unstable and crews battled the fire alongside neighboring fire departments. Those included ESD #7 from Parker County, City of Weatherford, and Santo VFD. Lake Palo Pinto Volunteer FD also sent equipment while Sacred Cross and CareFlight covered EMS calls.

Photo By Autumn Maria

Fire Chief Ryan Dunn said the integrity of the building could not be determined once the blaze was put out so an investigation has begun. He also says that while the building is likely a total loss and will probably need to be brought down, he says the community is lucky it wasn’t worse.

“I know its a huge loss but we are really fortunate to save the Senior Center and the Rock School Museum that is right behind it. Those roofs didn’t catch on fire and we got real lucky we didn’t lose anything else,” said Dunn.

The Senior Center did not sustain any damage but will close its doors indefinitely until further notice. Executive Director Linda Choate says she sat at across the street until before midnight praying for a good outcome. It seems she likely had them answered since the activity center used by so many was safe from the flames. It is good news, but Choate says the event is still devastating.

“We were just beginning to see participation increase again as people are beginning to come back from the pandemic,” she said. “We were going to make it.” The dance scheduled for this weekend at the Senior Center has been cancelled.

Chief Dunn says the insurance people will need to come out and look at the roof as well as the burned building next door to safely determine if its secure. “The last thing we want is for the building to collapse into the Senior Center,” said Dunn.

Mineral Wells ISD owns the Fannin building and according to Superintendent John Kuhn, the building was no longer insured.

“We maintained insurance on the building at a significant cost and effort until 2019. After we filed a hail claim that year, our insurance company dropped our coverage and we were unable to renew it.” Kuhn said.

“I have scheduled a meeting tomorrow with city officials and with some folks who have experience in the restoration of historical properties to discuss options for Fannin. I hope to find a way to save the shell of the building, if at all possible,” Kuhn said. “Safety will certainly guide our decision-making going forward.”

Photo By MWAN

The building continued to smolder today late in the afternoon and crews began to set up a perimeter fence to secure the building.

The community of Mineral Wells is experiencing a renaissance and leaders want to maintain as many historical buildings as possible as the community begins to come alive again.



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