The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

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October 21, 2013

Officials release identity of female victim lost in downtown fire



At the time of the fire, there were unconfirmed reports of the possibility of individuals being inside the building, which housed a thrift store on the bottom floor, with upper floors being renovated for use as apartments.

Once the fire was extinguished, a search mission immediately commenced, with Texas Department of Criminal Justice personnel assisting in the efforts by bringing in canine units to search the area as of noon Saturday.

Remains of the deceased were found at about 4 p.m. that day.

Earlier Saturday morning, Palestine Fire Department firefighters were putting out hot spots and brought in heavy equipment to pull down the remaining walls of the historic three-story building.

The front wall of the building collapsed at 4:30 a.m., according to reports.

The building is currently owned by Jason Dorsett. According to his mother, Cyndi Dorsett, who was at the scene of the fire, he did have insurance on the building and had finished renovations to put in lofts on one of the upper floors.

However, at the time of the fire, only the bottom floor was authorized to be used for the thrift store, as the upper floors were not ready to be occupied.

Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at

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