Commissioners authorize cleanup of smoke-damaged Denton County courthouse

Denton County Commissioners held an emergency meeting Wednesday to authorize the cleanup of the county courthouse. It suffered some smoke damage because of a nearby four-alarm fire.

The fire destroyed the Downtown Mini Mall early Tuesday morning. There was so much smoke that some of the some made its way inside the historic courthouse.

Commissioners voted to bypass the normal bidding process so they can get the building cleaned of soot and smoke damage as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, business owners are still waiting for answers as to whether they can rebuild and if the historic look of the square can be preserved.

"We are going to max out our coverage. We have more inventory and fixtures and property than what is covered," said Diana Roblyer. She owns La Di Da, one of the businesses that burned.

Being under insured or having no insurance at all will be a challenge and likely determine if some of the businesses will re-open.

“As the historic preservation officer, I lean toward saving as much of the historic integrity of the building as we can… the brick on both sides really if we can,” said Roman McAllen, Denton’s historic preservation officer.

About 40 small businesses who sold items inside the mini mall were affected. Some apartment units were also damaged by the smoke and water. A cleaning company is working with the various properties to clean up.