"Save the archives" was the battle cry among Wakulla news journalists as they watched their building go up in flames. Fire broke out around 9:00 Monday night, leaving little more than charred memories.
From the outside it's hard to tell the building caught fire just last night, but step inside and you'll see why firefighters are estimating a $30,000 loss. Wakulla news has been covering local stories for more than a century; the paper itself is making headlines. Flames gutted the Wakulla news building Monday night. The fire's origin, an electrical outlet.
It took 30 firefighters to put out the blaze, and a community effort to save the county's documented history.
"Part way through we took firefighters in and passed archives out through a window to paper personnel and others," says D'Arcy Brazier.
The team effort was successful; books of archives dating back to the 1930's are safe and sound. The next challenge, getting this week's paper to the press in 24 hours. Phillips and her sister Shannon have been running the paper since their father handed it over in 1976.
Friends say the two have never missed a deadline, even through their parents' death.
"This paper is like the bible of the county, if it were delayed, people would call and say where is my paper?" says Martha Peterson.
The sisters say that won't be the case this week as they move the office into their home and work feverishly to get the news out. The Wakulla news hits the stands Wednesday afternoons and circulates to homes Thursday morning. Stacie and Shannon say their first priority is getting that paper out, then they say they'll deal with the damaged building and figure out where to continue business.