In Tuskegee the Press Never Stops

Hot off the press, the headlines in bold letters: "Fire destroys buildings housing Tuskegee News, Gray law firm, and Community Action office"

It's the biggest story about downtown Tuskegee in recent memory, and Jacquelin Carlisle helped put it together.

Carlisle says writing this story was a like writing an obituary. In many ways, seeing the fire and its aftermath was like watching the death of a loved one. It was one tough assignment. "Very gut-wrenching," says Carlisle.

"To sit there and write about something you witnessed was difficult," says Carlisle.

A news editor for the Tuskegee News, Carlisle wrote her part and then revisited the place she often called home - the newsroom.

"This used to be the newsroom, but as you can tell there's not much left," Carlisle says.

It's the day after and the smoke still rises from where the three buildings once stood. A block away attorney Fred Gray is starting over. Gray lost just about everything in the fire.

"When this is all over, we'll be closer together," Gray says.

It is a one story brick building where Tuskegee News reporters and editors will begin writing copy for the time being. It'll be different, but much like the TV news business, the news never stops.

"We didn't skip a beat. We just made it into a bigger story," says Carlisle.

With 500 extra copies of today's top story being printed, the locals in Macon County will always have the stories and the pictures to remember. Jacquelin Carlisle will have those and much more; two bricks from the old newsroom.

"This helps with the healing process. (It is) something to show what once was and what used to be here," Carlisle says.

The fire we're told started when someone left a space heater burning on the second floor of the Tuskegee News building. The Masonics owned the building and just hours before the blaze started, the Lodge held a meeting on the second floor, but as of tonight, no official confirmation from state and local fire investigators.

Reporter: Bryan Henry