More downtown Murray buildings are likely to be demolished after this week’s massive downtown fire. City officials briefed community members this morning about the fire’s impact on the community.
Some businesses remain closed awaiting electrical and structural inspections before the city can re-energize offices with electricity and turn on natural gas supply lines. The fire’s cause is still unknown, and no one was injured.
City Administrator Matt Mattingly believes the gutted buildings will come down.
“I think it is just common sense if you look at the structures and the fire damage there is nothing really salvageable, particularly the one on Maple Street,” said Mattingly. “ …all indications show it will be razed.”
If the buildings are razed, it would mean four more downtown storefronts will be gone. The collapse of a building on the corner of 4th and Main streets claimed three other business storefronts. An eighth storefront is current uninhabitable because of a partial roof collapse in March that is yet to be repaired.
Mattingly says the growing number of downtown incidents is prompting the city to address its role in private business matters.
“The (City) Council has been discussing it back and forth…” said Mattingly “You know it is a question of how much does the government get involved using tax dollars for this.”
Right now, Mattingly says the city is taking an “assistance” role to connect business owners with services designed to help them recover. Those services come from the Purchase Area Development District and Murray State’s Small Business Development Center.
Mattingly says access to connected buildings along 5th and Main will be restricted until further notice as the State Fire Marshall’s office develops plans for its investigation into the blaze’s cause.