DUMAS, TX (KFDA) - The old and abandoned Star Theater turned Oak Lanes Bowling Alley is now in ruins after the fire fully-engulfed and took down the building.
“This fire was a very heavy fire. Double-story building, all wood frame inside and the fire was going pretty bad,” said Dumas Fire Chief Ronald Pray. “The building collapsed in several places. And for the safety of our crews we had to help it fold in on itself and get all the fire out.”
The Dumas Fire Department worked all night and early this morning hosing down hot spots and making sure what was left of the building wouldn’t be a danger to others.
Chief Pray said Wednesday’s high winds were a main concern and they plan to keep watch over the area.
“The front end of the building was leaning out over the sidewalk and we were concerned that it was going to collapse,” said Pray. “We’re going to keep it an eye on it today. I’m out here doing an investigation right now, trying to figure out what cause the fire.”
Dumas City Manager Arbie Taylor said while the building holds sentimental value for the community, it was in terrible condition on the inside and they have considered demolishing it.
“One of the latest ideas was to get rid of it, make parking here,” said Taylor. “Because the TxDOT paving project that’s coming in a couple of years is really going to disrupt our downtown quite a bit. So we were looking at options for people to come and park to do their downtown business and not have to be on Main Street.”
Some Dumas residents stopped by to look at what’s left of the building and even took a brick to remember it by.
Taylor said the City will soon reconsider what to do with the property, but until then, public safety is the number one priority.
“I’m going to have my crews in here, we’re going to continue the demolition, carry the debris off and take care of that,” he said. “And then beyond that, we’ll just let the city leaders decide how they want to go forward.”