My brother, 1/2 mile away from me, called me at about 7 a.m. today and told me to look out our back windows. Even though I'm older than he, I was obedient and did.
Whoa!!! About a block away behind us, I saw flames shooting to the sky, tons of smoke and lots of flashing lights. I also heard what sounded like a train roaring. No train...just the sound of the roaring fire that was destroying our courthouse.
We live on West Court Street, which is one of the streets that run alongside and right up to the courthouse, so we had a front row seat to the sight.
By noon and with the help of 12 fire departments, 150 firefighters, a bunch of tank trucks, and all the water in our city's 100,000-gallon water tank, the fire was finally brought under control. No cause for the fire yet. Under investigation. The last courthouse burned in 1980 because of arson.
The building is totally GONE and a huge mess and there's still the smell of fire and smoke in the air. Now everyone's scrambling to find a place to conduct the county's legal business. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
Our local NBC station has information and video reports here
if you want to see how we started our day.