Businesses impacted by a four-alarm fire on Denton's square this week are beginning to pick up the pieces.
At Shop the Barn, a vintage furniture and antique shop, owners Courtney and Roger Johnson spent the day cleaning up. Their shop is two doors down from the Downtown Mini Mall, which burned to the ground Tuesday.
"Most of these, I think we're going to have to repaint them," said Roger Johnson, as he attempted to scrub soot off antique furniture. "Or, sell them as-is."
The Johnsons are thankful their shop was spared from the flames, though they'll have to remove all of their items and clean them, after their building filled with smoke and soot during the fire.
"Kind of like a roller coaster, up and down," said Courtney Johnson, of the work involved. "Sometimes you get in the mode of just, go, go, go."
Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the fire, which broke out just before 4 a.m. Tuesday, requiring multiple fire companies from Denton County and beyond to respond. The Downtown Mini Mall, which opened in 1980, was reduced to rubble.
"It's hard to see that building," Courtney Johnson said. "It's devastating. I can't imagine."
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Thursday brought some good news for the mini mall owners, who were able to open their other property on the square, Downtown Mini Mall II. Vendors learned that important paperwork — one described it as "the Bible" — was found in the rubble, some of its business and sale information from the days leading up to Christmas still legible.
It's a small win in the face of a devastating fire in which 50 vendors lost everything.