A large fire broke out early Sunday morning in a building in downtown Clay City, causing extensive damage.
Powell County officials say the fire was reported around 3 a.m. on Main Street. We’re told the building is more than 100 years old and was once the Clay City Restaurant.
Powell County dispatch said no injuries have been reported.
Lisa Johnson with Powell County Search and Rescue was at the fire for hours.
“When I saw the fire, my first impression was this is gonna be a hot one,” Johnson says. “If those walls could talk, they could probably tell you a lot more stories they had in them.”
“This property has been in my family since the 1800s,” says building owner James Bloom. “You can’t replace it, it’s going to have to be torn down there’s nothing left.”
For Bloom, the fire is one of many problems. He had to shut down the restaurant due to COVID-19. Plus, he says he recently found intruders living inside.
“I ran some of them out of here yesterday we’re living in it, and you see what happened this morning,” Bloom says.
However, Bloom says there is a silver lining, as on Saturday he moved memorabilia from the restaurant to the Red River Museum down the road, just hours before the fire.
“It would have burned up in there too, and that stuff’s irreplaceable,” Bloom says.
Investigators are still working to determine what caused the fire.