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Fort Worth firefighters battle blaze at historic Public Market building on Henderson St.

July 23,2022

See full Fort Worth Star-Telegram article by Amy McDaniel here.

A fire Thursday night damaged the 93-year-old Public Market building on Henderson Street, a historic structure that the fire department called a staple of downtown Fort Worth.

Just before 8 p.m., the Fort Worth Fire Department received multiple calls about black smoke coming from the vacant building at 1400 Henderson St., the department said in a Facebook post.

Firefighters found flames on the first floor of the building.

“Thankfully, firefighters were able to keep the fire contained to the interior of the building and prevented it from spreading and damaging the terra cotta exterior or the structural integrity of the building completely,” the fire department said.

The market was added to the Texas Historical Commission Landmark list in 1980 and the National Registry of Historic Places in 1984.

About 30 minutes into the operation, the incident commander requested a second alarm. Additional companies responded to provide relief for firefighters in the triple-digit heat. In total, 75 fire personnel responded over two and a half hours.

There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The historic farmers market, adorned with stained glass, closed in 1941. In March, it became part of the design plans for a senior living community called The Harden. The Downtown Design Review Board approved plans to turn the market into an amenities building for the five-story apartment complex, which developers plan to build adjacent to the market.

The plans were for the market building to house a cafe, fitness center, co-working space and lounge.

Wilks Development purchased the property from Texas Rangers co-owner Bob Simpson in 2014. At its peak, the farmers market had space for 145 vendor stalls and 30 retail shops. It has been vacant since 2004.