Fire Finally Out at Bryan Saddlery Building

By: Alex Villarreal Email
By: Alex Villarreal Email

Court's Saddlery has resided at the corner of 22nd and north Main Street for the past 55 years.

Dr. Richard Stephenson, a local chiropractor in Bryan, said, "longer than I've been alive pretty much."

Massive flames reduced the well known horse equipment and saddle making company to this.

Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski said, "It's been here since the 1950's, their saddles are known throughout the world...and it's a significant loss here in our downtown Bryan family."

Its taken more than a million gallons of water to fight the fire that ignited Sunday afternoon.
The building had two roofs, one of several special circumstances fire crews dealt with while trying to contain the blaze.

Bryan Fire Chief Mike Donoho said, "The first roof structure began to collapse in the interior, on the firefighters when they first entered the structure, which caused us to back out."

At that point, all they could do, was wait.

"We had to wait for the fire to burn through the second roof structure before it actually vented itself," said Chief Donoho.

Dr. Stephenson said, "There were sparks and a plume at least four stories tall, a vortex pretty much of fire and black smoke until they got it under control."

It took 19 hours to completely extinguish hot spots.

"We've got it contained to the structure of origin...Now, we're removing any walls on the exterior that might be unstable," said Chief Donoho.

Firefighters believe the fire originated in the back of the building and are interviewing the owners.
The family owned business was closed at the time the fire sparked.

Chief Donoho said, "We don't believe the fire was intentionally set or anything like that, so we're going to go in and try to determine exactly what happened."

Court family members met with insurance adjusters Monday to discuss what options they have, including rebuilding.
The Court family has released an announcement for their employees; there will be an employee meeting Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. at 400 North Bryan.

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