Standing alone in the cold, Harry Kennedy stared Tuesday afternoon at the charred rubble of the Country Rose Antiques & Accents in Old Town Clovis.
For four years, Kennedy, 76, had rented space in the business to sell old books, old toys, jewelry and other collectibles.
He was hoping his jewelry somehow survived the inferno that swallowed the building early Monday.
"There's a lot of memories in that building," Kennedy said.
He said the fire was devastating not only for him. "I guess bad things do happen to good people," he said of the Country Rose's owners, Ken and Sandi Schulte.
The two-alarm fire caused about $1.5 million damage to the structure and $500,000 for the contents, fire officials said. Because the building was made of non-reinforced masonry, it will have to be demolished, they said.
Tuesday, fire spokesman Chad Fitzgerald said the cause of the blaze remained undetermined because the building wasn't safe to enter.
Next door, the Clovis Antique Mall sustained smoke and water damage, but not fire damage, Fitzgerald said.
Firefighters had cut a hole in the ceiling at the Clovis Antique Mall to check for a shared attic. (The buildings didn't share an attic or a common wall.)
Tuesday, Pam Rosenbery praised firefighters for keeping the fire contained to Country Rose Antiques & Accents. "They did an awesome job," Rosenbery said.
She and others were busy packing up antiques and collectibles at the Clovis Antique Mall, which is owned by her sister, Jacque Jones. Because repairs have to be made, it's unclear when the Clovis Antique Mall will reopen.
A chain-link fence kept people like Kennedy from the remains of Country Rose.
Three brick walls were left standing, but one of them was held up with steel braces.
Fitzgerald said inclement weather could cause the walls to fall. "I honestly can't tell you when we will be able to pick through the rubble," he said.
Sandi Schulte said Tuesday it was too early to say whether they would rebuild. She said two dozen people rented space in the building and the building and its contents were insured.
"We're still a little numb and we're tired because we haven't been able to sleep," Sandi Schulte said. "But whatever happens, we know it will be a long haul."
Linda Allen, who lives and works in the tax business she owns across Fifth Street, took video of the building as it erupted in flames.
Allen said Tuesday that hours before the fire, she noticed that the lights to the business weren't on. "They are always on," she said.
As the hours passed, the lights remained off, Allen said.
Then shortly before 3 a.m., she was startled from her sleep by a young couple talking outside her window. They called 911 to report smoke coming from Country Rose. That's when Allen grabbed her cellphone to video-record the fire.
"It's such a tragedy because the place was like a museum," Allen said.
It contained World War I and II helmets, antique toys, old rolling pins and can openers, paintings, lamps, and expensive jewelry, Allen said. "Inside was like taking a stroll through history or being at your grandmother's house," she said.