Massive Blaze Rips Through Main Street in Boonville One Year Ago Today
One year ago today, a massive fire in the heart for Boonville, turned 5 beautiful buildings on Main Street into a pile of rubble. Residents were evacuated. Homes and businesses were lost. But hope was not.
Businesses that lined Main Street for generations were no more after a blaze broke out at 135 Main Street just before 10pm, leaving 15 people homeless and hole in the heart of Boonville. "It's not just a fire. It's a part of history, gone." said Dean Yauger, Assistant Fire Chief the day of the fire.
The community came together and rose from the ashes, collecting clothes, furniture and donations through a Go Fund Me campaign. "The parade route may look a bit different, but one thing will remain the same; the giving spirit of our people," said Nicole Pitt who created a video to show the heart of her hometown and the devastation left behind.
A violin that survived the fire became a symbol of hope. The Boonville Police Department said Dave Pritchard Jr., and Dean, “Rusty” Yauger from the Boonville Volunteer Fire Department saved the delicate instrument from the burned out building, where it hung on a hook. "The instrument looked amazingly intact and appeared to be the only thing that survived the devastating inferno."
The violin’s owner, Paul Slegaitis donated the violin to be displayed in the community for everyone to enjoy.