Man in wheelchair escapes downtown Dyersburg fire but loses his best friend

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DYERSBURG, Tenn. -- A disabled man lost his closest friend in a major fire Tuesday morning in Dyersburg.

The fire started in a two-story brick building at the corner of Court and Main Streets and destroyed a law firm and another business but was kept from spreading to an entire block of stores.

It required firefighters from three departments to put it out, and Tuesday night people around the city are coming together to help the victim.

"The sprinklers came on. And then there was fire in the corner of the ceiling," said Larry Curry.

Larry Curry managed to escape the fire Tuesday morning that raced through the two-story building.

Curry, who uses a wheelchair to get around, didn't hesitate to go back for something very important.

"And then I come back in, trying to find my cat and called her name and grabbed my phone. And stuff was starting to fall from the front room in the ceiling, and I didn't think I was going to make it out, but I made it out," said Curry.

Unfortunately, Larry's adopted cat named "Baby Girl" did not survive.

The huge fire, reported just after seven Tuesday morning, covered Court Square in thick smoke.

Emergency crews were attending an "appreciation breakfast" thrown for firefighters, EMS and police when the alarm came in.

"We had to get up and leave breakfast, arrived on the scene; there was a lot of smoke showing. And about 15 minutes later it came through the roof," said Dyersburg Fire Department Chief Tim Ware.

The fire heavily damaged a law firm and watch repair business, but the second floor was vacant.

Ware said no one was allowed inside to fight the fire, "You just don't ever know what you get into in an older building like that."

Anthony Agresta watched the fire from in front of his pizza business, Alvino's Pizza.

He said firefighters did a great job stopping the blaze, and he showed his appreciation by baking up some food for them.

"We just gave them pizza. They been here since 7 o'clock," said Agresta.

As for Mr. Curry, he will be getting some help though from Security Bank in Dyersburg.

"We had several requests from the community to open up a donation account. So we opened up the account under the name Larry Curry Donation Account," said Megan Brock, VP of Security Bank.

Curry was moved by the act of kindness, "God bless everybody."

You can help Larry Curry by stopping by any of the Security Bank locations in Dyer and Gibson Counties.

There are four in Dyersburg, one in Newbern, one in Trimble and one in Trenton.

Just let the teller know you're making a donation to Larry Curry.

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