Business owners, community look ahead after devastating fire in Moulton

The fire on the downtown square in Moulton has left many people wondering what's next.

Posted: Apr 23, 2019 8:30 PM
Updated: Apr 23, 2019 10:32 PM

WAAY 31 spoke with business owners who were impacted by the devastating fire in Moulton Monday night.

One of the business’ owners even lost their home in the blaze.

“It’s probably one of my worst nightmares," Kelly Proctor said.

Proctor and her boyfriend have owned Tucker’s Tire & Auto for about ten years, and tthey've lived above the business for just as long.

So, when Proctor got a phone call Monday night, saying a neighboring business had caught fire, she panicked.

“The smoke was billowing already out of the top of the roof," she said. "So, we stood and watched it, waiting for the fire trucks. It went downhill from there.”

The fire that started at Court Street Grill around 8:00 p.m. Monday quickly made it’s way to other businesses, including Proctor’s, just before 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

Several fire departments from Lawrence County and Morgan County responded to the blaze.

“People from off the street were coming in and helping us grab everything," Proctor said. "Our whole lives were basically sitting out on the sides of the street, thanks to those people.”

And while Proctor was hit the hardest, losing her business and her home, others suffered, too.

“This business means the world to me. It means the world to my vendors," Craig Johnston, owner of The Willow Tree, said. "My shop is made up of local artisans and creators that represent this community. This is what a lot of them do to make extra money and sell their creativity.”

In the meantime, Proctor and other business owners are keeping a positive attitude, and they agree that the most important thing is that no one was hurt.

“We lost quite a few things: antiques, glassware, things that can’t be replaced; but as long as we’re safe and the firefighters are safe—nobody was injured—that can be replaced," Proctor said.

The fire on the downtown square in Moulton has left many people wondering what's next.

These five businesses were damaged: Court Street Grill, Tucker's Tire & Auto, Deja Vu Salon, The Willow Tree, and Jeremy's Lock & Key.

Some business owners already have their eye on the future and are ready to get to work rebuilding.

WAAY 31 learned what some folks want to see happen after the heartbreaking loss.

“I was raised in it. I worked in it," said David Alexander. "I didn’t get to get out and play much with the kids, because I had to put together bicycles, tricycles, lawnmowers, wheelbarrows, and things like that.”

David Alexander said his dad built the building that now houses Court Street Grill. He told WAAY 31 his father opened a hardware store in 1949--the same year Alexander was born--and it’s been a part of his life ever since.

“Memories just keep going around in my head, things that we did growing up in that store," Alexander said.

When the building caught fire Monday night, Alexander’s memories, and many others', went with it.

“You sit there and you cry, because this is history and it’s people’s livelihoods, and it’s being destroyed and we’re losing it," said Wendy Hazle. "That’s why so many people are here, to try and show our support and our love for our history.”

“It just took part of me away. It’s even tough for me to talk about it now," Alexander added. "There’s going to be a blank spot in me, my family, and the city.”

WAAY 31 spoke with the director of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, who actually owns one of the affected businesses. He says it’s a huge blow to everyone who calls Moulton "home."

“It’s just a tremendous hit at the heart of Moulton," Craig Johnston said. "We lost multiple great buildings that have a lot of history. They mean a lot to the people in this community, and not just for their past, but their present.”

However, Johnston is certain the community will pick up the pieces and move on from the fire. He said he expects a bright future for the city of Moulton.

“The one thing I’m sure of: this is a resilient community and we’ll come back. We’ll build back and we will grow from this," Johnston said. "I am confident, knowing these business owners, they are also very resilient, they believe in this community and want to be in this community. I believe they’ll be back. It will come back soon, with a lot of hard work and focus.”

Many people hope to see the things they loved in the past remembered in whatever is to come.

“We will try to save as much of the history as we can of these buildings, and incorporate that into what’s built going forward," Hazle said.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 53°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 56°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 53°
Fort Payne
Mostly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 48°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 490220

Reported Deaths: 9744
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson704661342
Mobile35810721
Madison32203443
Tuscaloosa23961409
Montgomery22417489
Shelby21773211
Baldwin19635272
Lee14883147
Morgan13571248
Etowah13118312
Calhoun13090283
Marshall11212203
Houston10036257
Limestone9321133
Elmore9313179
Cullman8864177
St. Clair8771220
Lauderdale8570210
DeKalb8419173
Talladega7450162
Walker6492249
Jackson6466102
Autauga617285
Blount6072125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5229100
Dale4614106
Russell401431
Franklin397675
Covington3948105
Chilton383196
Escambia376670
Tallapoosa3559139
Clarke342749
Dallas3396140
Chambers3393103
Pike292771
Lawrence281284
Marion280793
Winston245665
Bibb243759
Marengo238554
Geneva238468
Pickens223554
Barbour209550
Hale208464
Fayette199356
Butler195165
Henry182341
Cherokee176338
Monroe165638
Randolph162740
Washington156233
Crenshaw143353
Clay143254
Macon140543
Cleburne136539
Lamar131632
Lowndes130148
Wilcox120825
Bullock116534
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98231
Coosa86823
Greene86732
Choctaw54723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768946

Reported Deaths: 11266
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby866001472
Davidson80790841
Knox45241571
Hamilton39979454
Rutherford37906375
Williamson25011202
Sumner21166312
Montgomery17207207
Out of TN1667091
Wilson16194209
Unassigned15662125
Sullivan14169273
Blount13929178
Bradley12734138
Washington12671231
Maury12141159
Sevier11889161
Putnam10537168
Madison10049226
Robertson8886118
Hamblen7958161
Anderson7893155
Greene7258144
Tipton6896101
Coffee6264114
Gibson6168140
Dickson6148103
Cumberland6072117
Carter5926152
McMinn586289
Roane581795
Bedford5756117
Loudon563164
Jefferson5580116
Lawrence554681
Warren529875
Monroe526389
Dyer5222101
Hawkins518793
Franklin470684
Fayette463771
Obion435794
Rhea411773
Lincoln410561
Cocke396192
Marshall388354
Cheatham385743
Campbell378158
Weakley377559
Giles371095
Henderson361173
Carroll346881
Hardeman337663
Macon335073
White333965
Hardin329762
Lauderdale309342
Henry298975
Marion290244
Wayne286430
Scott285042
Overton283757
Claiborne273666
McNairy265051
Haywood264359
Hickman262840
DeKalb261548
Smith253336
Grainger240746
Trousdale237922
Morgan228537
Fentress228344
Johnson215038
Chester200647
Bledsoe198210
Crockett196946
Unicoi179347
Cannon173628
Polk173621
Union168930
Lake167326
Grundy166330
Sequatchie153927
Decatur153137
Humphreys151321
Benton149939
Lewis145724
Meigs125421
Jackson124834
Stewart123124
Clay106230
Perry102527
Houston102330
Moore93616
Van Buren79120
Pickett74723
Hancock49312

Community Events