The Historic Quincy Business District has decided to tweak our website a bit. We have removed the “Downtown News” section and replaced it with our blog, giving us an opportunity to share our thoughts and commentary in a new forum.
We felt it was appropriate for our first post to be from Executive Director Travis Brown regarding the fire at the Newcomb Hotel last night. These were his thoughts at the conclusion of last night.
I will have plenty more to say in the coming days and weeks to be sure, tonight before heading home I want to share these thoughts:
1. Tonight, I couldn’t be prouder to be a resident of the City of Quincy. Having the opportunity to see up close the unbelievable efforts of the City was amazing. Chiefs Joe Henning and Rob Copely and the entire QFD and QPD were nothing short of remarkable in their efforts to save the building and then contain the fire. John Simon and the Adams County EMA were phenomenal in moving residents from the Lincoln-Douglas and doing so many other unseen things that often don’t get recognized. The City Officials, from Engineering to Planning to Kyle Moore for Mayor and several city council members were all on hand to pitch in. They were planning the next steps to keep everyone safe and keep things moving in a positive direction for Quincy. It was something I am glad I had the chance to witness. These dedicated public servants are owed a great deal of respect and adulation, and I for one am immensely proud they serve OUR community.
2. The business owners are resilient. While this wasn’t their building, there will be smoke damage, road closures and a number of other issues we have to work through in the coming days. But tonight was another one of those nights where everyone just wanted to come together to make sure each other was alright. Employees came down, property owners came down, everyone wanting to know if there was something they can do to help. For now, we have to play the waiting game and let the professionals deal with the situation at hand. However, it was great to see them come together. I’m glad I got to see them and let them know that we (myself, our organization, and our community) are here to support them however we can.
3. The heartache. Being this far along in the process to have the Newcomb redeveloped and having such devastation is gut-wrenching. As you watch the flames devour the magnificent structure you couldn’t help but feel sick knowing the potential for revitalization has been lost.
4.It could have been worse. You never want to lose a building, any building, for any reason. You especially don’t want to see so many people put in jeopardy because of a raging fire. But it could have been worse. It could have been an occupied building, a residential building. It could have housed a vibrant business. It could have been in the middle of a block. It could have been worse. The fire occurred in a building which has been vacant for many, many years. It was contained to just that structure. None of the QFD officers appear to be injured. Even in the midst of the heartache I can’t help but be thankful because it most certainly could have been worse.