Historic Site Goes up in Flames
PALM SPRINGS--Firefighters are being credited with saving a historic part of downtown Palm Springs after a fire erupted Tuesday night.
The flames threatened the entire 100 block of North Palm Canyon Drive. Luckily firefighters were able to contain the blaze to a single building.
The fire started at the 1936 Carnell Building on Palm Canyon Drive and Andreas Road.
Firefighters continued to mop up the damage Wednesday and search for clues as to how the fire started. Stuart Peterson's shop is right next door to the damaged building, but it was business as usual Wednesday. Despite sharing a wall with the Carnell Building, remarkably, Peterson's store didn't suffer any damage.
"Couldn't believe it, to see the building next door and what was going on there and then to have this perfect no damage at all," Stuart Peterson said.
Firefighters are still investigating an official cause, but neighbors say that transients have been living in the second story of this historic building for years.
"We were talking about how eventually those homeless are going to burn down the pitt building and not a week later the building's caught on fire," Dennis Bell said.
"It's been going on for years. They go upstairs. They probably smoke their crack pipes and the fire started. Like I say there has been transients up there for years upon years," Peterson said.
The site where the fire broke out was home to Palm Spring's First Community Church until 1934. The land has been deemed Class 2 Historic. Until just 3 months ago, Bill Buxton ran the Palm Springs General Store in the first floor of the building.
"It's one of your old homes that you've lived in, we spent a lot of time bc we used to have this as our kids store and that was the general store so it's like all the memories are gone," Bill Buxton, Palm Springs General Store said.
It's unclear how extensive the damage is, but it looks like another major construction project could be in the near future for this seemingly ill-fated part of downtown Palm Springs.