Fire Officials: Downtown Business is a Complete Loss in Fire


POSTED: Sunday, June 24, 2012 - 9:35pm

UPDATED: Sunday, June 24, 2012 - 10:09pm

A building in downtown El Paso goes up in flames and fire officials say faulty wiring is to blame.

The building was home to Bella Boutique and now the business is a complete loss.
Fire officials say when they arrived at the building on South El Paso Street, they saw flames and smoke coming out of the store.
The El Paso Fire Department says everything inside Bella Boutique was destroyed.
Shoppers passing by the store reacted to the fire.

"You can really, like the smell really comes like right away to you. You can smell it from like two to three stores down, and we were like, what's burning,” said shopper Marisol Juarez.

"It kind of smells bad. It was horrible, so I told my aunt. I don't like the smell,” said shopper Hector Paez.
In April, another historic building burnt down just a couple of blocks away from Saturday night's fire.
City Representative Susie Byrd says the city council has been working hard to put pressure on building owners in the downtown area to properly maintain their buildings.

" I think it's really discouraging. I think particularly along South El Paso Street which has some of the highest retail roots in El Paso that the property owners simply can't make the types of investments in those kids of building to keep them safe,” Byrd.

The owner of Bella Boutique also owns other buildings in downtown. Representative Susie Byrd says the owner has made efforts to help improve the area.

"I know they actually own the building next door, Holland’s and they've made very significant investments in that building and really made it very beautiful. They've made big facade improvements, so hopefully they will act quickly to protect you know the investments they have along that street,” said Byrd.
Fire officials say a building next door did suffer smoke damage.
Crews blocked off South El Paso Street between Overland and Paisano while they investigated the blaze.


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