Three Buildings Lost In Downtown Tuskegee Fire


Downtown Tuskegee was the scene of a horrible fire Tuesday, considered one of the worst in the city's history.

Three buildings in the downtown area were destroyed after a space heater was apparently left on inside one of the buildings, causing it to catch fire.

Tuskegee's newspaper, community action program, and civil rights attorney Fred Gray's offices were all housed in the destroyed buildings. Mayor Lucenia Dunn says "This is a major loss for the town of Tuskegee because some civil rights artifacts were housed in those buildings."

Gray had represented Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement. And Tuskegee's newspaper has been in business since the late 1800's. George Washington Carver was one its contributing writers. The current editor says it will publish a paper Wednesday, thanks to the help of surrounding newspapers.

At a city council meeting following the fire, council members approved emergency funding in the amount of $4,000 per month to lease a new fire truck. Fire Chief Derrick Swanson had asked for the new truck to use while the city's existing truck is repaired.

Chief Swanson says the department also needs at least 10 new fire fighters. The mayor says the money is there, but so far, none has been hired. Swanson says the department's needs did not affect their efforts Tuesday morning because six other departments were called in to help. Swanson and the mayor praised the firefighters for their efforts.

For still images from Tuskegee, click through the slide show below. Or, watch clips of WSFA's team coverage of the fire listed to the left.

Updated by: Mark Bullock