3 historic buildings damaged by fire in the 18th & Vine District

Posted at 5:23 AM, Feb 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-02 18:17:50-05

Three vacant buildings in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District went up in flames Thursday morning. 

The three buildings affected were owned by the City of Kansas City, Missouri as part of a redevelopment plan, according to Councilman Jermaine Reed. 

The historic buildings impacted by the fire were 1814-1816 Vine Street, the Security Loan and Investment Association building, 1820 Vine Street, the Roberts building and 1822 Vine Street. 

The first structure fire broke out in the former Deluxe Night Club near 18th and The Paseo shortly after 4:30 a.m. 

The fire was fully involved for about a half hour. 

“The fire trucks drove right up onto my patio and they raise the ladders to spray it and they kept spraying and my family began to call me,”  Sherry Thomas, who lives nearby said.

Thomas was afraid her building would be next.

“Incredible I have never ever in my entire life seen a blaze and been that close to it,” Thomas said.

Officials told 41 Action News a homeless woman was inside the vacant building when the fire broke out. She had started the fire to stay warm and it got out of control. 

The woman was then taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

The building, which was built in 1922 and served as the former home for the Security Loan and Investment Association, was destroyed and declared a total loss. 

The second structure fire, which is also a vacant building next door, started from flying embers. A source with the KCFD says the second building was an old theater that served as part of the set of the 1990 movie 'Mr. and Mrs. Bridge' with Paul Newman. 



The old theater had a bowstring truss construction that resembles a barrel-like arched roof. Those types of roofs are very hazardous and collapse quickly. 

The structures involved in the fire were in the process of renovation. The buildings were also on the list of National Register of Historic Places. 

Reed said city inspectors will evaluate the burned buildings according to several criteria including severity of the damage to the structures and likelihood of being repaired. 

Editor's Note: Copy now shows three buildings were burned in the fire. 




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