Deputies still investigating fire that destroyed historic Wellington Mercantile building

Deputy state fire marshals Dennis Ely and David Dini on Thursday were still investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed the Wellington Mercantile building in Wellington.

The fire broke out shortly after 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, and an employee inside the building safely escaped. The structure was engulfed in flames within 15 minutes and took only three hours to burn to the ground.

Assistant Fire Chief of the Smith Valley Volunteer Fire Department Charlie Mann said deputies from the Nevada State Fire Marshal's Office were on scene Wednesday afternoon to do a preliminary investigation, but had not yet reported any findings to him as of Thursday.

The volunteer fire departments of Mason Valley, Yerington, Topaz Ranch Estates and Douglas County assisted in battling the blaze.

The Wellington Mercantile was built in 1880 in Hoye Canyon in Douglas County and moved to its present location in 1893.

The fire also threatened the Hoye Canyon Mansion next door. A caretaker in the mansion was quickly evacuated. The heat from the fire melted paint on the two-story mansion and lightly scorched the eve of the second floor. The mansion was built in 1871.

The Wellington Mercantile was also home to Magdalena's Restaurant. The establishment was a favorite among the locals for socializing and eating. Many of the residents were saddened by the loss of the history the store held.


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