Cause of fire at old Holiday Inn ruled as ‘transients burning wire to expose the copper’

(Video from KOAM on May 16)

JOPLIN, Mo. – Joplin Fire Chief releases more information on the fire at the old Holiday Inn on S. Rangeline.

On Friday, May 15, 2020, at 4:14 PM, the Joplin Fire Department responded to a report of a possible structure fire at the old Holiday Inn, 3615 S Rangeline. The first crew arrived at 4:19 PM to find smoke showing from the enclosed pool area. Crews entered the room and extinguished a pile of wire that had been set on fire.

According to the Fire Department, the fire was under control at 4:55 PM and crews remained on scene until 6:54 PM to ventilate the area.

The Joplin Fire Department responded with 7 units and 18 personnel. The Fire Department was assisted by METS Ambulance Service and the Joplin Police Department.

The cause of the fire was ruled as transients burning wire to expose the copper.

There were no injuries to civilians or firefighting personnel. However, due to the heavy smoke and the confined space in the pool room, two firefighters fell into the pool and called a “Mayday” for extrication.  The Fire Department released, “This could have been a serious situation due to the weight of bunker gear the firefighters wear, along with the rancid condition of the pool water.  Fortunately, both were able to extricate themselves with no apparent injuries.  This is an example of the type of situations firefighters sometimes find themselves facing when dealing with fires in abandoned structures.”