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Fire officials continue to investigate last night's fire - KOAM TV 7

Fire officials continue to investigate last night's fire

Updated December 19, 2012 at 4:50 PM CST:  State and local fire investigators are trying to determine the cause of last nights fire in downtown Joplin.

Fire fighters tell us the fire was reported shortly before 6 p.m. on Tuesday.  We are being told, as of this morning, there were a few hot spots still around.

The massive fire lit the downtown area last night.

The address was the now destroyed building is 1602 South Main Street.

Fire crews arrived to see heavy fire coming through the roof of the one story building.

One other building nearby, Solace Church, were not destroyed by the fire thanks to a concrete fire wall within the walls.  According to Facebook page of Solace Church, the church building is still a total loss due to smoke and water damages.

Again, firefighters were still on the scene this afternoon.  They are monitoring hot spots and investigating.

Joplin's fire marshal and the state fire marshal have both been at the scene.

"On anything that large and that involved that much of an area of commercial development, we always like to call in an extra set of eyes or two to just give us a hand and make sure that we get the determination correct," says Joplin Fire Chief Mitch Randles.

As of now no determination of the cause has been released.

Updated December 19, 2012 at 12:05 PM CST:  Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire that swept through downtown Joplin last night.

Six fire trucks, 24 fire fighters, plus Joplin Police and METS all responded.

The fire stared in a building at 1602 South Main Street, which in the past housed a bar, a May's Drug Warehouse, and other businesses but was most recently unoccupied.

The fire then spread south to Bucklin's Furniture Store, which is a complete loss.

Crews managed to contain the fire within a few hours.

Joplin Emergency Management Director Keith Stammer says once the fire was going it was fueled by dry wood and it's possible the furniture store still had restoration materials inside.

Updated at December 18, 2012 at 9:40 PM CST:  Joplin Emergency Management Director Keith Stammer says some of the Solace Church roof did catch fire, however, the firewall kept the interior portion of the building from becoming engulfed.  The building did receive water damage, but it is not known how much at this time.

Updated at December 18, 2012 9:20 PM CST:  Joplin Emergency Management Director Keith Stammer expects crews to be at the scene of a downtown Joplin fire all night.

With intense flames that could be seen from across town the scene at 16th and Main Street has drawn a lot of spectators.  While the flames have died down, fire fighters will continue to flood the hotspots with water.

There are no known injuries and there are no strong winds.

Stammer says when crews arrived the fire had already broken through the ceiling at 1602 South Main.  It spread to an old furniture store but a fire wall has stopped it from going further south to Solace Church and One Hour Dry Cleaner.

As for what caused the fire, Stammer says it will probably be morning before anything is known.

He says once the fire was going, it was fueled by being an old building with dry wood and it's possible the furniture store still had restoration materials.

Updated December 18, 2012 at 8:25 PM CST:  The fire started in a building at 1602 South Main Street, which in the past has been a Mays Drug Warehouse, as well as other businesses over the years.

The fire then spread to what used to be a furniture store.

Authorities say they are worried about the fire spreading to a neighboring building, One Hour Dry Cleaner at 1620 South Main, due to the chemicals there.

However, there is a firewall between the two structures.

CORRECTION:  We incorrectly reported that the 1602 South Main Street had been 8-Ball pool hall at one time.  In fact, that pool hall was further south on Main Street.  It is known the location has housed several businesses over the years, including Mays Drug Warehouse and Missouri Breaks Pool Hall.

Updated December 18, 2012 at 8:10 PM CST:  "Any time we lose a building downtown it is not a good thing for us but we have been through worse, and this fire will go out eventually and then we will figure out what to do with it," says Keith Stammer, Emergency Management Director for the City of Joplin.

Updated December 18, 2012 at 7:10 PM CST:  Officials say they were called at 5:53 PM about the fire at 16th and Main.

Six fire trucks, 24 fire fighters, plus Joplin Police and METS are currently at the scene.

Posted December 18, 2012 at 6:55 PM CST:  Crews are working a fire in the 1600 block of Main Street in downtown Joplin.

A neighbor tells us the fire started at 1602 South Main, formerly a bar but believed to be empty at this time.

We have a crew on the scene and will provide more information as it is confirmed.

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