Fire Destroys Old Theatre in Redmond
Loss Estimated at $10,000
Piute County News, 17 December 1948, page 1
Loss was estimated at more than $10,000.
The Salina volunteer fire department, whose crew members made the three mile trip to Redmond, brought the fire under control and saved the nearby structures despite the pumper trouble which developed on one of the trucks.
The Richfield fire department was called when this trouble came up but when they arrived in Salina, they were informed that the fire was under control so they were not needed.
Cause of the blaze was believed to have been an overheated furnace. The janitor of the opera house told firemen he started a fire in the furnace about 5 p.m. to prepare the building for a basketball practice and a ward drama group. The fire was discovered burning in the basement where the furnace was located, about 7 p.m.
Rasmussen's mercantile store, which is about 10 feet east of the opera house, and a cafe, pool hall and another store, where saved from damage when the flames were brought under control.
The interior of the old theater was gutted by the flames , however, and the hand-made brick walls were reported weakened by the heat.
The fire was brought under control in approximately one and a half hours, firemen said.
The old opera house had been a community recreation center for the past 30 or 40 years. It was built in the eighties by Julius Christensen and was used as a store for about ten years before it was altered for use as a recreation center.