Fire destroys local business

A fire late Monday night destroyed a local business and left the owner in shock and disbelief.

QCS Photo: Thomas Garcia

Danford Cross is brought to tears as he discovers the only picture he had of his late wife was not destroyed during a fire Monday night that damaged his store located at 115 East Smith Avenue.

"It's to hard to go in to the store and even begin assessing the loss," said Danford Cross, owner of Danford Dan's Music Shop in Tucumcari.

Cross said he woke to the smell of smoke around 9:30 p.m., and stepped out of his RV, which is parked, beside the store located at 115 E. Smith Ave. The building was on fire.

Cross drove to the police station at 215 East Center Street to report the fire because the only phone was inside the burning building.

The fire was confined to the area directly behind the desk located in the building, said Scott Jaynes, Tucumcari interim fire chief.

Jaynes said flames were extinguished minutes after the arrival of the units. He said the flames were low and appeared the fire had not spread to other areas of the store, though there was considerable smoke damage.

According to call logs from the Tucumcari Central Dispatch, Cross entered the police department and reported the fire at 9:23 p.m.

After the fire had been extinguished, Cross said he was unable to enter the shop, which he had operated for eight years. He said the building itself may be salvageable, but much of the contents have been damaged or lost.

"I have to gather my composure every time I walk in to the building now," Cross said.

Cross said among the charred remains were multiple items of high monetary and sentimental value. He said he has not been able to bring himself to examine many of the items which include eight harmonicas he used to perform at music events and a 1945 J 45 Gibson Guitar.

Cross was examining the damage Tuesday afternoon, describing the damage when he stopped to look at pictures hung on a mirror. He said he was beyond relief when he discovered a picture of his late wife Judy had not been destroyed along with the rest.

"It's the only picture that I have of her," Cross said. "Even with all this damage around me, I can't tell you how grateful I am to still have this picture."

Cross said he is unsure what he will do. He is considering reopening the shop though he will need help. He said for now he will concentrate on finding a way to replace his diabetic medication, which was also lost in the fire.

"Any help would be appreciated," Cross said. "I would love to continue to be a part of this community."

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