Fire Destroys Historic Building in Big Spring

Fire Destroys Historic Building in Big Spring

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - We're continuing our coverage of a fire in Big Spring that destroyed much of the city's first hospital on Wednesday night.

It's an 85 year old building that closed its doors nearly 25 years ago. NewsWest 9 spoke with the caretaker of the historic building who us what this loss means to him and to the city.

The fire happened at the old Hall-Bennet Hospital. Most of the damage was done to a wing of the hospital that was added back in 1950.

Bruce Cox is not only the caretaker of the historic building, he was also a doctor here. He says that this is not the first time vandals have caused damage to the building.

"We've had many break-in's, we tried to board the thing up. We just can't keep ahead of the vandals," Cox said.

Cox has his own theory as to how the fire may have started.

"Each time it's during some type of holiday deal, Spring Break, and I go oh my gosh, it's that time of year again where the kids are out and I don't know, that's just conjectural in my part," Cox said.

Three pumper units were called in to fight the fire, but at one point, it got too dangerous and firefighters had to be pulled out.

"We started fighting the fire. We did an initial attack on the interior and we soon realized it was going to be unsafe so we pulled those guys out and started a defensive attack from the exterior of the building," Big Spring Fire Chief, Craig Ferguson, said.

Although it is a historic building, fire officials are saying it might be better just to demolish the building.

"Tearing part down or shutting it down, try to secure it. We are gonna try to do short term," Ferguson said.

Cox is saddened by what happened to the old hospital. He says although the wing will more than likely have to be demolished, he hopes the main hospital can be saved before vandals can do more damage.

"I hope that we can still maintain this. It's on a nice block of land and its nice location, a historical building should be persevered," Cox said. 

The cause of the fire is undetermined and is still under investigation.