Menasha fire impacts historic downtown building

MENASHA, Wis. - The Menasha community mourns the loss of a historic building after a fire Friday night.

The Wisconsin Historical Society said the building has housed a theater, bowling alley, and soda fountain.

Many people watched as the smoke billowed from the roof of the Brin building.

"First arriving crews had flames shooting through the roof in the middle of the Brin building," said Fire Chief Kevin Kloehn of the Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue.

They say about 10 people lived in the apartments about three or four active businesses in the building.

"Everybody's out safely. There are no injuries to firefighters right now," said Fire Chief Kloehn.

Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue said about eight different departments helped battle the flames.

The cause is still unknown as investigations continue.

Victor Doldren lives in the building next door. He said he's counting his blessings the fire didn't spread. 

He was inside Joshua's Dream today, a store affected in the Brin building.

"The wear and tear of the water and the debris, the weight, and everything else just destroyed everything else in his shop," said Doldren.

He said it was filled with water.

"You have three steps you step down, and the water is all the way up to one and a half steps," added Doldren.

Fire officials said most of the damage seems to be through the roof. They don't believe there is much damage on the first and second floors besides water damage.

Samantha Glasheen interns at one of the businesses, Bits & Bytes. She said her heart breaks for those who lost their homes.

"They only have what they came out of the fire with, and they can't now go back and get it because it's all gone," said Glasheen.

The American Red Cross is assisting those displaced.

So far there is no word on what the businesses will do.

 

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