Downtown Huntsville fire still under investigation, witnesses shocked

Huntsville Fire and Rescue arrived at a vacant building on 117 Clinton Avenue that caught fire Saturday night

Posted: Jul 29, 2019 6:10 PM

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of a fire in downtown Huntsville on Saturday night. A vacant building on 117 Clinton Avenue caught fire around 11 PM. Huntsville Fire and Rescue arrived at the scene and immediately shattered glass to get inside. 

On Monday, the damaged building has boarded walls, locked doors and shattered glass inside and outside of it. The scene left one firefighter with minor injuries. Huntsville Fire and Rescue could not say what those injuries exactly were but say he or she is doing well. 

WAAY 31 talked with one woman who was just next door at Pints and Pixels when the fire broke out. 

"A little bit of smoke, just a very faint odor, and I thought it's probably something from the kitchen, a grill or whatever," Kerry Komai said. 

Komai was enjoying a night out with friends when she started to smell the smoke. She says everyone was forced out of the building immediately. 

"Just out of nowhere, there was no warning or anything, the bartender stood up and said the building next door is on fire, and the bar is closed, close out your tabs, we're evacuating," Komai said. 

Firefighters shattered the glass to the building and immediately started fighting the flames and smoke that had filled the bottom and second floor. Raven Blackwood was working at Pints and Pixels when the smoke started spreading near the building. 

"With how much smoke we were smelling at the time, we wanted to evacuate everybody so we shutdown around midnight," Blackwood said. 

WAAY 31 learned the vacant space is owned by Bank Independent, a company that was looking to renovate the space. A company member said the fire does not impact their timeline of moving in. Komai says she will never forget the emotions of that night. 

"There was a little bit of panic, people weren't freaking out and screaming, but there was definitely a rush, you know, to go pay our tabs and get out of here!" Komai said.

Huntsville Fire and Rescue tells WAAY 31 they expect to find out on Monday what caused the fire. So far, nothing has been determined. 

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