Investigators say Downtown Dexter fire likely accidental - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Investigators say Downtown Dexter fire likely accidental

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Investigators say the fire that demolished two businesses in Downtown Dexter was likely accidental.

According to Dexter Fire Chief Don Seymour, the fire started in the attic of the tattoo and body piercing shop on Stoddard Street.

Seymore says the cause of the fire is not considered suspicious.

Crews will start tearing down at least one of the buildings on Dec. 5.

Crews got the call to the corner of N. Walnut and W. Stoddard Streets, in Dexter around 12:30 a.m. Friday.

According to firefighters on the scene, they believe a fire started in A Drop of Ink 2 tattoo parlor, but the cause is unknown at this time.  At one point the whole city block was threatened by flames. 

"The ceiling caved in (at one of the businesses) 14 minutes after we arrived on scene,
 said Don Seymore-Dexter Fire Chief.

Fire crews were able to keep some of the fire at bay, but two businesses are destroyed, including the tattoo parlor and a home décor store called The Loft. 

Police escorted other business owners into their stores or offices, in danger of catching fire, to retrieve important papers and documents.

The blaze caused smoke damage to a flower shop called Gregory's and other businesses on the block.

"It's incredible the enormous work they (fire crews) did," said Gregory Banken-Owner, Gregory's. "We owe it all to them that we still have the rest of this block."

Huge flames from the businesses on fire could be seen miles away on Highway 60 west of town.

No one was hurt in the fire.

Police and the state fire marshal are investigating as crews put out hot spots on Friday morning.

The owners of the Loft say they plan to rebuild as soon as possible. Community members were on the scene Friday morning helping the owners salvage anything they could.

"That is just a testament, especially for this time of year, that yes it was a tragedy but look at all of the people who came together to help someone they didn't even know," said Brian Crawford-Co-Owner, "The Loft".

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