A section of the basement floor now is visible in the part of the downtown fire site where investigators believe the Jan. 6 blaze may have started. (Photos by Brad Durrell)
While investigators were unable to find the cause, they think the fire likely started in the basement near where Howe Convenient and Dollar Chest were located on the first floor. That’s next to the intersection of Howe Avenue and Bridge Street.
These photos show images of that corner of the basement, highlighting the stone-and-mortar basement walls as well as some underground piping. They were taken late Monday while standing close to Bridge Street, looking toward Howe Avenue.
The basement appears to have a cement floor.
Howe Convenient, a longtime convenience store, was located in the corner and had entrance doors on both Howe Avenue and Bridge Street. Dollar Chest, a dollar store, was located in the next retail space south of Howe Convenient.
A lot of debris had to removed to reach the basement floor, with a four-story building having collapsed at the site.