DENTON -- It was all smoke, char, and disbelief in Denton's Downtown Square Tuesday morning.
"They're not just trying to drive by and say, 'Oh, there's a fire,'" resident Beth Highgenboten said of passing cars. "They're more like, 'Oh my gosh, this is a part of us.'"
Just before 4:00 Tuesday morning, Denton Fire Department faced massive flames shooting out of the top of the Downtown Mini Mall. Firefighters went to the area hoping to save the historic building, but they quickly realized they couldn't.
"They found out there was way too much fire to go offensive so they backed back out and set up in a defensive position," Denton Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal Brad Lahard said. "It went from one alarm all the way up to three alarms."
The Mini Mall is a total loss.
"When I came up and saw all the tape and fire trucks and the Mini Mall, it's just overwhelming," Highgenboten said.
The mall and its approximately 50 vendors who lost everything weren't the only concern, though. This building was connected to others, including another staple next door, Jupiter House coffee shop.
"We all come up here and meet and argue and fight, then come back the next morning Americans at a coffee chop campus in Denton, Texas, square," Jupiter House regular Jim Matheson said.
Well, Jupiter House and the stores on the other side, La Di Da and Shop the Barn, got good news.
"They were able to save everything in the adjoining buildings," Lahart said.
Just a little smoke and water damage to deal with there, but with a relic gone in Downtown Square, we're now left wondering what happened in Denton.