Kingsville residents talk devastating fire

On Monday Kingsville business owners were literally picking up the pieces after a massive fire devastated part of the city's downtown historical district.

KINGSVILLE (KIII NEWS) - On Monday Kingsville business owners were literally picking up the pieces after a massive fire devastated part of the city's downtown historical district.
 
Flames engulfed at least five businesses Saturday night on 7th St. near Kleberg Ave. The fire was so big several firefighters were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion.
 
Shop owners and volunteers were helping empty the building. They said the same Kingsville family has owned it for decades. 
 
"It was a clothing shoe you name it fabrics store," Oscar "Red" Vela said. 
 
Vela has been a pharmacist technition for 50 years and most of those were in his hometown just several stores down 
from the Fuentes building established in the early 1900's.
 
"We used to go get clothes or tennis shoes or shoes especially when we were in elementary," Vela said.
 
But what remained the next morning was just charred equipment, merchandise and beams. 
 
"It looks horrible from this being like a historical street like with all the other businesses and stuff like that to just have a burnt down building," Mindless Ink owner Marc Madrano said. "I wish they would re-build it."
 
Harrell Pharmacy owner Nick Harrell III said the Fuentes family was devastated and still hasn't decided if they will rebuild or not.
 
"Oscar had talked about putting a park in there a greenspace which would be great downtown," Harrell said. "They could use it for parking."
 
Harrell said he trusts the Fuentes family will take into consideration how any replacement will affect Kingsville. 
 
"People that have businesses here or interesting and are interested in seeing kingsville downtown survive and prosper," Harrell said.
 
The cause of the fire is under investigation but fire officials suspect it was an electrical issue in a shoe store. 
 

© 2017 KIII-TV


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