By Kim Bell, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
ST. LOUIS — A fire late Monday morning destroyed one of the massive old structures of the historic Crunden-Martin Woodenware complex, just south of downtown, barely two years after a blaze heavily damaged another.
Nobody was injured in the four-alarm fire in the brick building at Cedar and South First streets. The three-story warehouse sits near the Poplar Street Bridge, beside Interstate 55.
St. Louis Fire Capt. Garon Mosby said the building was extensively damaged and appeared to be beyond restoration. Firefighters remained at the smoldering scene into the night, wetting down hot spots.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
The call came about 11:30 a.m. and quickly rose to four alarms, each bringing additional help and equipment. More than 80 firefighters responded.
The flames threatened at one point to spread to an adjacent building, Mosby said, but were under control by 2 p.m.
The building is owned by Servco, which manufactures commercial food-service equipment and architectural sheet metal, said Greg Gates, one of the owners.
Gates said Servco does not keep any of its products at that site, but rents out space to smaller businesses. Only one business was in the building, on the first floor, he said.
Mosby said all employees had made it out before firefighters arrived.
On Dec. 8, 2011, a former Crunden-Martin warehouse across the street was badly damaged in a five-alarm blaze. Last month, preservationists named that building one of St. Louis’ most endangered historic structures and called the complex “a critical reminder of St. Louis’ industrial riverfront.”
Joe Holleman of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.
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