Flames consume iconic Imperial Brewery - KCTV5

Flames consume iconic Imperial Brewery

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The iconic Imperial Brewery off Southwest Boulevard was gutted because of a three-alarm fire.

KCTV5 Photographer Grady Reid saw the flames just before midnight Thursday. Firefighters from both Kansas City and Kansas City, KS, battled the blaze until after 2 a.m. Fire gutted the top floors of the six-floor building.

Kansas City firefighters needed longer than usual to get to the fire because a train blocked the tracks near the brewery,which is off Southwest Boulevard and Interstate 35. Firefighters were delayed in getting to the scene by about five minutes.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. It was mostly recently used a flour factory and the equipment was still inside. Investigators will determine if that helped spark the blaze.

"It is a historic building. It is an aged building," Kansas City Fire Department Battalion Chief James Garrett. "The size of it presents a great obstacle in extinguishing the fire."

Because the structure was so tall, getting water onto the highest flames was also an undertaking for firefighters.

"When you have such an old building and compromised building, you have holes in the floor," he said.

The owners had been planning to renovate the historic building.

To read more about the Imperial Brewery, its history and recent plans to renovate it, click here.

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