The Denton County Commission will meet in an emergency session Wednesday to authorize a restoration company to immediately begin cleanup of the massive fire that damaged the Downtown Mini Mall on the historic courthouse square.
The fire began at approximately 4 a.m. Tuesday and damaged at least five businesses located in the Mini Mall.
"It's like losing a close family member. Just a knot in my stomach, and I got here as quick as I could," said the Mini Mall owners' son Bret Will. "We're all in shock, and just starting to come to terms with the reality of the situation."
The building is considered to be a total loss, according to the Denton Fire Department.
There was so much smoke pouring out of the roof of the building on Tuesday that it damaged the Denton County Courthouse, located directly across the Square from the Mini Mall.
Due to soot and smoke that made its way into the courthouse, the building will be closed until further notice. Judge Mary Horn said the entire building has to be cleaned and the air filters changed regularly until the smell is gone and the air quality improves – which could take a week, maybe more.
All county business that would usually be conducted at the courthouse has been moved to other Denton County facilities.
The owners of businesses located inside of the Mini Mall were expected to meet with representatives from the Denton Fire Department on Wednesday as well.
The Downtown Mini Mall owners, Leo and Shirley Will, opened the Mini Mall in 1980. They say they're thankful no one was hurt, but aren't sure what the future holds.
"You have to look ahead and you can't look backwards," said Shirley Will. "Hopefully we can rebuild. We don't know what our options are, but it would be wonderful if we could."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.