The Theater in Crane burned down overnight, arson suspected

The Theater in Crane burned down overnight, arson suspected
Aftermath inside the movie theater. (Source: Chief Berry Ingram)
Aftermath inside the movie theater. (Source: Chief Berry Ingram)

CRANE, TX (KWES) - A fire fully engulfed The Theater on West Fifth Street in Crane when crews arrived around 10:20 Friday night. Officials suspect it was arson.

Crews from Odessa Fire and Rescue, Crane Fire department and McCamey Fire Department responded to the scene.

"Surround and drown is basically what we did," said Chief Berry Ingram of the Crane Fire Department. "It was fairly difficult because we had a hard time reaching it. As you know we had high winds last night which was force-feeding the fire. We had to get the aerial here so we could get above the fire."

Ingram said there were seven units altogether and over 200,000 gallons of water.

"We only sustained damage to that one structure," said Ingram. "Surrounding structures did not have any damage at all." Firefighters were still on scene until the next day. "We spent most of the night and most of the day getting hot spots."

Ingram said the building was last used as a theater around the 1980's. Since then, it has been used as storage over the years. Residents still see the structure as a historic building.

"It's been a small community. Back in the 50s, 60s, it was a hopping spot. That's what they did," said Ingram. "They'd come to the movies back with the Borden milk tops, get in, watch the movie and have a good time."

He said since the theater is unstable, it may face demolition.

"We do not know what the outcome is going to be. It's very obvious it's not a sustainable structure. It will have to be destroyed. When and where, it's not determined at this time."

The State Fire Marshall is involved in the investigation. No injuries were reported. Officials said to avoid the area since the structure is unstable.

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