Massive weekend blaze rips through McComb's historic railroad depot
MCCOMB, Mississippi - Over the weekend, a monstrous fire tore through a beloved landmark in downtown McComb, Mississippi.
According to local media outlet, Enterprise-Journal, the Sunday afternoon blaze destroyed the city’s train depot and railroad museum, utterly decimating a landmark that was treasured for its historic significance.
The news outlet says the blaze broke out in the north end of the building in where the museum’s office and archives were housed and spread further south, destroying the Amtrak waiting room.
Firefighters were able to restrain most of the flames to the attic by the time the fire spread to the southernmost part of the building, which was an old freight room that had been converted into a museum containing precious railroad artifacts.
Firefighters successfully salvaged some artifacts from the museum, including brass bells, several photos, and some replica train engines kept in Plexiglas cases. Once it was safe for first responders to re-enter the building, they were able to save even more artifacts.
McComb Fire Chief Gary McKenzie said, “Rough estimate is that 90% of the artifacts were housed in the south end of the building and could be saved.”
He also expressed optimism about the structure itself.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, and officials say an investigation will be carried out.
“I can promise you that every investigational tool will be used,” McKenize said. “It’s an historical building, we’ve already contracted the State Fire Marshals Office to get their investigators down.”
At this time, officials say it is unclear what effect the fire will have on future Amtrak service in the area.
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