Blaze damages several buildings in Panhandle


Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 7:27 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 7:27 a.m.

MILTON, Fla. Federal investigators are expected at the scene of a blaze that severely damaged at least four office buildings and a historic theater in downtown Milton.

Santa Rosa County spokeswoman Joy Tsubooka says the cause of the fire isn't yet known. It started Tuesday night in a small building behind the Imogene Theatre, then went on to destroy a coffee shop and office building. It also damaged a Republican Party office, law offices, a bail bondsman office, and an art gallery and bookstore. The theater suffered smoke damage and its roof was heavily damaged by the fire.

Mayor Guy Thompson said of the blaze: "We're watching an awful lot of history go down the drain."

Milton is about 20 miles northeast of Pensacola in the Panhandle.

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