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story.lead_photo.caption Cleanup begins at the site of the fire that destroyed two businesses in downtown Atlanta on Hiram Street. Photo by Kate Stow

ATLANTA, Texas — Cleanup began last week on Hiram Street after an Oct. 17 fire destroyed buildings and heavily damaged others.

Plans for the empty spaces have not yet been determined.

The fire started in the East Texas Tumblers building, destroying the structure.

It quickly spread to the Allday's Department Store building next door — one of the oldest in town. The blaze gutted the structure that at time time housed a hair-extension business.

The other two businesses on the block, Cobblestone Gifts and The Rabbit Patch, were both heavily damaged. The Rabbit Patch reopened in January and Cobblestone is still in the process of remodeling.

On Oct. 20, Bobby Ray Denton, 18, of Atlanta was arrested on a criminal mischief charge of over or equal to $300,000, a first-degree felony, for his alleged connection to the downtown fire.

During the three-day investigation, aided by witness testimony and surveillance-video footage, evidence was also found of a small fire in the abandoned Brooks Hospital building on Louise Street.

"Bobby Denton is still incarcerated in the Cass County jail. He was recently indicted on two charges of arson related to fires at the old Brooks Hospital," said Courtney Shelton, Cass County district attorney. "The other arson case currently remains under investigation, as we await lab results and other search warrant returns."

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