Fire claims old music hall

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Photo by Jared Lankford

A former entertainment venue south of Purdy, that in recent years had served as a bar, burned in a fire reported around 5 a.m. on April 2. According to Purdy Fire Chief Mike Redshaw, around 35 firefighters from Purdy, Butterfield, Wheaton, Cassville and both the Monett city and rural departments responded. Monett Fire Chief Tom Jones said the metal covering around the building acted like an oven, holding in the fire. The Monett ladder truck responded to the scene but was unable to pour water down onto the fire through the metal covering. Most of the smoke came out the front. "We had to have a lot of tanker support, as there are no hydrants out there," Redshaw said. "The building appears to be a total loss." The Missouri fire marshal is investigating the cause of the blaze. Monett firefighters returned to service after nearly four hours helping with the blaze. The facility opened in the early 1970s as an entertainment venue known as Branson West. The building had water from the city of Purdy but had not had service for over a year, according to City Clerk Debbie Redshaw. It was most recently used as a semi-pro fight venue.

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