Last week’s fire in Boonville isn’t the first to destroy a stretch of historic buildings in the town. On January 7th a fire ripped through five buildings and six businesses on main street. Now, the community is coming together to help pick up the pieces.
“Boonville is a very tight knit community. I am very proud of the people and the amount of support where everyone has come together and tried to support the businesses and the people that have been displaced because of the fires, it has been amazing.” – Michelle Bartelotte, Executive Secretary of the Boonville Area Chamber of Commerce
This is the 8th fire to take place on Main Street since the 1960’s. Many of the structures lost were very old and built before the installation of firewalls.
“With the older buildings, you never know what can happen. This town was built in the 1800’s so we do have older buildings here and it’s going to be hard to replace the look and the style.” – Michelle Bartelotte, Executive Secretary of the Boonville Area Chamber of Commerce
Many community members, like james, were born and raised in this town. Although buildings can be rebuilt, James says the memories he holds on Main Street will never be the same.
“It does tear a whole into the fabric of the community. Everybody that has been here for any length of time has memories. For example, I worked in a shoe store in one of these buildings and earned my college money in that building. Numerous people have made a living in these businesses.” – James Pitcher, Municipal Historian, Town of Boonville
13 fire department responded to last week’s fire. Michelle says they’re grateful that so many agencies were able to step in and help out.
“Without all the other fire departments helping, our volunteer fire department, we may have lost more of this town than we have now.” – Michelle Bartelotte, Executive Secretary of the Boonville Area Chamber of Commerce
You can help the fire victims by donating at the Millcreek Nursery and the United Methodist Church.
CORRECTION: The new email address for the Boonville Area Chamber of Commerce is Chambers2@frontiernet.net