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Authorities Investigating Downtown Paris Fire

By Empriss Campbell
By ecampbell@wbbjtv.com

HENRY COUNTY, Tenn. - 18 hours after flames erupted, Paris Fire Fighters were still on the scene dealing with smoldering ashes and investigating what caused the building that once housed 414 North Market and antique mall to catch on fire.

"It's an on going investigation with Paris Fire Department and the State Bomb and Arson has a crew here helping along with Paris Police Department all helping to come to a conclusion on this," said Fire Marshal Chuck Wade.

A viewer captured video Wednesday night of the abandoned building in flames. Amanda Carter works at the pawn shop across the street and said she left work just minutes before the fire started.

"Within a space of five minutes it went from absolutely nothing to a humongous blaze it was incredible how quick it actually started," said Carter.

Local residents said teenagers hung out at the building and actually called it, "The Loft."

"It was just an accident waiting to happen with these children going in and out of it," said Carter.

Fire investigators said that also increase the likelihood the fire was intentionally set. Carter said the building has not been used in years.

"The whole community turned out to watch it...right down here a block down you could actually feel the heat it would cause you to back up," said Carter.

The fire marshal told 7 Eyewitness News there was nearly 50 fire fighters from several area firefighters helping to put out the fire Wednesday night including the Calloway County, Kentucky Fire Department.