Fire destroys oldest jewelry store in Marshall County

Commercial building fire in Boaz (Source: Clay Mitchell)
Commercial building fire in Boaz (Source: Clay Mitchell)

BOAZ, AL (WAFF) - Firefighters battled a building fire in Marshall County on Wednesday. It took them hours to put it out.

It broke out at a building along Main Street in downtown Boaz late in the afternoon.

The fire damaged a part of history.

"How would you feel?  There's no way to explain it," said Millard Arrington, jewelry store owner.

Arrington could only watch smoke and fire take over his Boaz jewelry store, a store that's said to be the oldest in Marshall County.

Upstairs was the civic organization, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

"I've been a member since '77, and it's been here a hundred years, and I hate to see such as this," said Larry Walker, IOOF treasurer.

Fire crews responded to the call around 4 p.m. Wednesday.

People as far away as Geraldine said they saw the smoke.

The owners of both organizations said they are left to wonder what started the fire because there was no one in the building.

"All we had was a little refrigerator upstairs and the jewelry store, he didn't have nothing on because he wasn't open," said Walker.

Walker said the IOOF owns the entire block, and he's hoping the other buildings can be saved.

"The fire department from another town came and started spraying from behind so I'm pretty sure maybe they've tried to save the back part because we had a church in the back part," said Walker.

For the IOOF, they plan to move forward.

"Well, don't know.  Probably have to rebuild somewhere," said Walker.

But for the historic jewelry store, its long run is over.

"Try to get my stuff out, salvage what I can and hang it up," Arrington said.

Several other fire department agencies assisted in fighting the fire.

The Boaz Fire Department is investigating.

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