By TIM HORAN
The structure of the Kirby House is not safe, said Abilene Assistant Fire Chief Ron Rein, thus the state fire marshal has not been able to get inside.
Rein said the inspector was in Abilene but could not get inside. Plans call for Boyd Construction to remove everything above the first floor on Wednesday.
“We think it (fire) started in the basement, but it has to be safe for us to get in,” Rein said.
Melodie Sprouse, who owns the Kirby House with husband Rob, said the historic restaurant was “part of the family.”
“My husband and I loved this house for the two years that we owned it,” she posted on Facebook. “It became part of our family. We and our children worked here.
“The Sunday ‘crew’ included our two sons and daughter. Our boys loved helping Dad do dishes and learn to cook. We made it our own by adding our own menu and staff along with keeping local favorites,” she said.
“We had some fantastic workers stay on from the previous owner and couldn’t have done it without them. Thank you to Chris La Porte and Connie Franklin!
“Many more have helped and we couldn’t ask for better people. As we feel a heavy heart, we also understand that so many others carry memories and emotions for this building as well.”
“We are still dealing with the loss and how, when, if, possibility of trying to rebuild or pay tribute to this wonderful house,” she said. “Please keep the beautiful pictures of the house in your mind and get rid of the ugly ones...that’s what I’m going to do.
“Thank you to the people that have offered help. And to people saying negative, you don’t know the facts, please stop. Thank you to all of our customers, we couldn’t have been open without you,” Sprouse wrote.