The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 21, 2011

Fire destroys Pittsburg businesses

PITTSBURG, Kan. — A fire destroyed two longtime businesses in downtown Pittsburg on Saturday afternoon and threatened others in the same block.

Officials said Beitzinger’s Hardware Inc., 722 N. Broadway, and Bud’s Jewelry, 720 N. Broadway, were total losses, but firefighters were able to prevent further damages to other businesses along the downtown block.

Fire Chief Scott Crain said the fire started in back of the second floor of the Beitzinger’s building, estimated to be 100 years old. As of Saturday night, he said the cause is unknown.

Crews had put hoses on the department’s new 100-foot aerial ladder and bucket truck on Friday after training on it earlier in the week, but had not anticipated putting it into service until the end of the month.

At that time, the department’s 85-foot truck was going to be traded to Pierce Manufacturing. But Saturday, the fire required both trucks be put into use, Crain said, in order to prevent the fire spreading to neighboring businesses.

Crain said it appeared that Knights of Columbus, 7181⁄2 N. Broadway, probably sustained smoke damage, but Mike’s New & Used, 716 N. Broadway, and Sear’s, 710 N. Broadway, were unscathed.

Crowds of bystanders had helped carry appliances and electronics out of Sears as a precaution, stacking them in the alley.

“John (Beitzinger) and I had always talked about retiring someday, but not like this,” said Phil Beitzinger as he watched crews on the scene. “This is not a good way, not at all. I’m numb. I’m in shock.”

The brothers took over the store from their father, who opened the store in 1945.

“This store has always been part of my life,” said Phil Beitzinger, adding that he didn’t know what he’d do now.

No one was in the hardware store when the fire broke out.

Terri Steele, who with her boyfriend, John Kutz, owns several downtown buildings, said one of their renters was walking down the alley and spotted smoke Saturday afternoon. Phil Beitzinger said he had left the business about noon, spoke briefly to Mike Seely who has owned Mike’s New & Used for many years, then went home. John Beitzinger was at Roaring River for the day.

“When I got here, I wanted to run in and get some things, but they said there was just too much, that it was too late.” Phil Beitzinger said.

The Fire Department had been conducting fire inspections downtown in recent months, but had not yet inspected Beitzinger’s or others in that block.

“We were concentrating on high occupancy,” Crain said. “There were no fire walls there, we know that.”

Sear’s and Ryan’s Cleaners, 712 N. Broadway, are on the site of the former Moore’s Furniture, which burned in 1978. The block is across the street from the historic Hotel Stillwell.

Hundreds of bystanders watched as crews worked, and traffic was more congested than usual because of the annual YMCA Dance Academy performance at Memorial Auditorium two blocks away.

Members of Westar Energy crews were also on the scene because of possible risk of streetlights catching fire and creating an additional danger to the public.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Ballot issues dominate GOP event

    A maze of campaign yard signs lined the sidewalk at Big Spring Park, leading up to a line of local candidates for public office with rolled-up sleeves shaking hands with potential voters.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter