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Pink Palace now ashes: Sheriff calls blaze ‘curious’

A fire Thursday morning destroyed the Pink Palace adult entertainment store outside the city limits of Boligee.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department received a call Thursday at 3:07 a.m. that the store was on fire.

The Boligee Volunteer Fire Department responded, said Sheriff Johnny L. Isaac. “The only thing they could see was that it was on fire. They couldn’t get close enough to it because there were hot wires. They didn’t do a lot until the power was cut.”

The fire was under control by 9:30 a.m. Thursday when the sheriff arrived at the scene. Small flames were still visible inside the building.

Isaac described the incident as “curious.” The manager said he had turned the power off, the sheriff said. The manager told Isaac a TV in the corner was missing, but everything else in the large structure including the store’s merchandise was destroyed in the fire.

“The burglar alarm company said they the alarm never went off, the sheriff said. There were no sprinklers in the building; sprinklers are not required in the county.

The state fire marshal has been contacted, and Isaac hoped they would arrive Thursday before the rainstorm that was predicted.

The store had been closed by the sheriff on Jan. 20 after it had been discovered that the business did not have a required specialty license to sell adult materials. The store had remained closed.

The county would have to approve such a license, and the issue of the specialty license was on the agenda for Monday’s regular meeting of the Greene County Commission, said commission chairman Chip Beeker.

The owners were expected to pay the $500 investigative fee and await action by the commission.

Beeker had previously stated that the commission would likely not grant the license. “The county is not going to [issue the license],” he said recently. “We’re prepared to do everything and anything legally possible in our means” to keep the business out of Greene County….We’re simply not going to tolerate the Palace.”

The Greene County Industrial Development Board, of which Beeker is a member, also asked District Attorney Greg Griggers to draft a civil injunction against the adult business if the specialty license was granted.