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Archive for Saturday, March 20, 1999

BALDWIN FIRE DAMAGES RESTAURANT

March 20, 1999

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— A Baldwin restaurant was destroyed by a fire Sunday evening.

Baldwin firefighters received a call about 6:30 p.m. of a fire at Popp's Restaurant, 131 Baker.

Authorities from the Baldwin City Fire Department, Palmyra Township and Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical Department responded to the scene.

"We usually mutually aid Palymyra for manpower and trucks," Baldwin Fire Chief Allen Craig said.

Craig said the cause of the fire has not been determined. The state fire marshal will be in Baldwin this morning to assist the investigation.

Craig said the fire was extinguished about 8:45 p.m. Sunday, but he and his volunteer firefighters remained to clean up and investigate until after 11 p.m.

The building's owner, Larry Trowbridge, who was observing the scene, said he also did not know how the fire started.

Trowbridge has owned the building for about four years. Until last year, he owned and operated a restaurant called Audra's Dawg House, a burger and barbecue eatery, inside the building.

Now, he is leasing the building to an Ottawa resident who operates Popp's Restaurant.

"Popp's was doing pretty good from what I understand," he said.

He said he was not sure what he would do with the property until after the building is surveyed for damage.

"Once that gets into the false ceiling it's tough," Trowbridge said. "The old part is a concrete block building."

Craig said the fire was the first opportunity for the department to use a "quint" it acquired last year. It is a large fire truck with a 75-foot ladder. Until Sunday, it had not been used to actually fight a fire, Craig said.

-- Tom Meagher's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is tmeagher@ljworld.com.

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