DISH — A windsock waving in the wind above an airplane hangar was the only thing left untouched by an early-morning fire Monday in Dish that left the hangar and its contents burned.
The hangar at Clark Airfield Airport was scorched, but still standing, and the smell of smoke lingered into the afternoon.
The hanger belonged to former Mayor L.E. Clark, who founded the town formerly known as Clark. He served as its first mayor and got enough names on a petition for an election to be held to incorporate.
“It was a big fire and very hot,” he said. “I had a lot of fuel in the hangar and it just kept exploding over and over.”
Clark, an antique car collector, lost two of his prized cars in the fire, a 1926 Model T sedan and a 1929 Model A.
“The fire was so hot it melted them to the ground — a big loss. It burned everything to the ground,” he said. “I even won first place out of 120 cars in a competition not too long ago with the 1929 model.”
The fire was so hot the vehicles’ headlights melted, resembling icicles hanging from the cars.
Clark didn’t have a damage estimate, but said the cost was “very high.”
“This won’t stop me from collecting and rebuilding,” he said. “Of course, I’m going to keep doing my work and rebuilding. But first, I’ll start rebuilding my shop.”
Clark, who lives next door to the hangar, called 911 and reported the fire at approximately 4 a.m.
Justin, Ponder, Krum and Denton fire departments responded to the blaze at the airport.
The fire also extended to an adjacent hangar, causing minimal damage, according to county officials.
The hangars contained antique cars, tools and miscellaneous equipment.
Clark said the only thing that survived was his jeep, which had minor damage.
Denton County Emergency Services officials said the fire was extinguished but reported that one building and most of it contents were lost.
A 100-gallon gasoline storage container located near the hangar was not involved in the fire.
County authorities said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but they don’t suspect foul play.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter @JDHarden.