Archive for May, 2009

May 29th Post

May 29, 2009

Hello Everyone!  This week was MUCH better!  Read on for details.

May 26th

Bright and early Tuesday morning the contractor and his crew showed up and began demolition inside the building.  He also had an electrician run temporary power and lighting inside the building.  These guys have the knowledge and skills to make things happen in a hurry.

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As you can see from the pictures, the walls were coming down and, the dust was flying!

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May 27th

The demolition continues inside the kitchen area.  The contractor had a welder come out to cut the vent-a-hoods loose from the roof and lower them to the ground.  They will probably have to stay in place until the crane removes the roof because they are so large and heavy.

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While they were working in the kitchen and set-up area, others were removing the light fixtures and paneling from the walls of the dining area.

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May 28th

The work continues throughout the building.  The walls have pretty much been removed in the set-up area, bus areas and completely removed between the kitchen and the front half of the restaurant.  The demolition has reached the temporary wall that was constructed two months ago.  The restaurant supply company arrives to remove the remaining stainless steel items that are to be restored.  The kitchen area and dish wash area REALLY look empty now!  It is amazing how much room there is when there is no equipment or prep tables or WALLS in the way.

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May 29th

The crew has removed the sheetrock from some of the dining area, and the tables from the walls in the big dining room.  They also started demolition of the back wall of the building using what else: POWER TOOLS.  It is dusty up here too!

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What have we been doing besides watching while all of this goes on?  We have had a de-construction project of our own.  We decided to break down and re-cycle the a/c units that have been sitting in front of the building for two months.  What a great stress reliever.  The first one took us nearly all morning to demolish, but we got better as the week progressed and we understood how they were assembled.  The pictures below show the piles from just one days work.  There are only two units remaining!  That is Mondays task. 

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Can’t wait to see what next week brings!  Thanks for stopping by and, have a great weekend!

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May 23rd Post

May 23, 2009

Well, this has been a very uneventful week.  As you probably noticed if you drove by Little Mexico this week, demolition did NOT start as we had hoped it would.  The contractor was there on Thursday May 21st with his structural engineer and several sub-contractors inspecting the site to see how to proceed.  Overall, the news was good.  They will be able to leave more of the building intact than was first estimated which means that demolition will proceed faster and so will the rebuild.  There is still no time estimate for completion, however. Demolition of interior walls and non-structural items will possibly start this next week.  If they show up we will be sure to bring you details and photos.   Wherever we go the first thing anyone asks is what progress has been made.  We promise to keep you updated whenever there is news.  Thanks again for stopping by!  Check back next week when, hopefully we will have BETTER news!   

May 15th Post

May 15, 2009

 

May 11th.

We continued clearing debris.  We had a tractor with a front loader to help this time though.  Power tools were invented to save time and effort.  We finished clearing the debris pile outside in ONE morning!

 

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May 12th and 13th.

We moved back inside the building to get rid of the acoustic tile and insulation dangling from the ceiling and trapping water every time it rains.  Having obtained a saws-all power saw, we also decided to remove the grid that held the suspended ceiling.  That was going so well, that we removed the ductwork, conduit, and charred wiring that remained.  Then we decided to remove the washer, dryer, coke machine, broken sinks and commode in the employee bathroom.  Told you this week would be all about the power tools!   In the Tuesday May 12th edition of the Palestine Herald Press there was an article that we appreciate very much.  If you missed it, or live out of town you can read it by clicking this link:  http://www.palestineherald.com/homepage/local_story_132002052.html

May 14th. 

We finished clearing debris inside, and got the last tables out of the kitchen that we could take without the vent-a-hoods being removed.  While we were working, the contractor stopped by to tell us that his plan is to start demolition next week.  HOORAY if it happens!  To quote Ty Pennington from “Extreme Makeover” :  “WE LOVE DEMOLITION”  We completed our day by sweeping up all the mess we had made.  The next pictures show the results of our efforts.

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 Some people have asked why there are never any pictures of Richard on the blog.  There have been pictures of Gary, Brandon, and Israel.  Well, just like on a family vacation, someone has to TAKE the pictures!  Here is a never before seen picture of Richard ready to go to work cleaning up Little Mexico.

 

 

 

 

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 And……here is a picture of Richard after a day working on debris removal at Little Mexico.

 

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Thanks for stopping by. Hope all of you have a great weekend!  Maybe next week will bring people with BIG power tools to start demo!  As always, we’ll keep you informed.

May 9th Post

May 9, 2009

May 3rd.

Had rain overnight so we did our routine mopping and clean-up.  We are still hoping that everyone shows up on time tomorrow morning for the fire investigation!

May 4th.

HOORAY!  Everyone that was supposed to show up and begin the fire investigation was either early or on time!  We had a total of 17 experts in various fields digging and sifting debris trying to determine where and why the fire started.  They say that they will be finished collecting samples by tomorrow afternoon and, we will be able to finally begin the clean-up of the kitchen and the areas most heavily damaged during the fire.

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         Morning Briefing                              Debris Removal

As debris is removed, every piece is photographed numerous times, tagged or bagged and placed in a specific location!

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Blueprints, sketches, and photos are laid out for reference as the pile of evidence begins to grow.

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May 5th.

FELIZ CINCO DE MAYO!

The investigators worked until late in the afternoon yesterday but only managed to get a few feet into the southwest corner of the building due to the massive amount of debris standing in their way.  This morning started with interviews of all the firefighters involved on the day of the fire to determine what they saw and heard from the time they arrived and entered the building to when the fire was extinguished.

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After the interviews concluded, the digging, cutting, photographing, and labeling continued until, in the afternoon, they had penetrated to the wall of the break room and kitchen office and they decided to move inside those areas to take further samples.

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Very late in the day, they declared that they had all the samples they needed from inside the building and we were cleared to begin clean-up of the areas we had been barred from entering.  Now THAT is PROGRESS!  They secured the samples they had so neatly arranged and labeled outside and told us that an evidence technician would be here Friday to arrange them for transport to the lab.

May 6th.

We begin to remove debris from the floor of the kitchen, back hallway, employee bathroom, break room, and storeroom.  It is a LONG way to the dumpster!  By the time we finish for the day we have managed to clear all debris from every floor except the break room ONE TRASHCAN at a time!  We have really made progress!

May 7th.

We continue to remove debris from the break room and even decide to tear down a few walls.  We are really getting the hang of this demolition thing!  By the end of the day it is starting to look much less like a disaster area and more like a building in need of repair and construction!

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Break room and back store room        Gary standing in kitchen office

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           Back hallway                                      Kitchen area

May 8th. 

We get word that the investigation is OVER!  We are told that we may dispose of the evidence as we see fit!  We waste NO time in cleaning up the outside of the building and, nearly fill the huge dumpster that just arrived yesterday!  Now we are really getting somewhere!  We are SO glad to finally be moving forward.  We did all of this BY HAND this week but, next week:  POWER TOOLS!

 

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    Outside after we removed some debris.

Thanks for stopping by this blog to check on us.  The response has been overwhelming.  We really enjoy keeping you posted.  We want to wish all of the mothers out there the very happiest Mother’s Day and we wish we could be there to celebrate it with you.  We WILL be ready for you next year.

May 2nd Post

May 2, 2009

April 26th through April 30th.

A very uneventful several days.  We spent most of the first few days just mopping up water from the dining rooms.  Thursday we were informed that the fire investigation would start First thing Monday morning May 4th.  Hopefully, everyone will show up that is supposed to and we can look forward to contracting the rebuild.

May 1st.

Since We didn’t have any new pictures of activity to show you this week, here are a few from happier times.

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        The PALESTINE RANGERS            MISS TEXAS Molly Hazlett

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A Hispanic band named “PATRULLA”   Olympic Medalist Nanceen Perry

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           Actor Andrew Keegan

Of course we LOVE Birthdays!

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Halloween and Christmas are ALWAYS celebrated in style!

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Santa

One year we were very fortunate to be included as part of a young girl’s wish from the MAKE A WISH foundation!

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We hope you have enjoyed this short trip down memory lane.  We welcome your comments about what YOU remember.  We look forward to making and sharing many more memories in the years to come!  Next week promises to be full of activity and we are filled with anticipation.  Have a great weekend and we will keep you posted!