City provides Olivia building update following fire

JOPLIN, Mo. – The City of Joplin holds a briefing today to provide an update on the fire at the historic Olivia Building. You can watch the full briefing above.

(Related: Photographer shares images, drone video of Olivia building damage)

The Olivia apartment building has sat at 320 South Moffet in Joplin, Missouri since February of 1906. But, on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, a fire made the future of the building unknown.

The Joplin Fire Department responded to the fire around 9:30 p.m. It took several hours to get it under control.

According to Fire Chief James Ferguson, an investigator from the Missouri State Division of Fire Safety was brought in to help determine the cause of the fire, which started on the 5th floor. However, the investigator was unable to get to that floor because it was unstable, leaving the cause of the fire as undetermined.

The building was unoccupied and officials say there were no injuries.

The Olivia Apartments were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. They were also named one of Missouri’s 2020 Places in Peril by the Missouri Alliance for Historic Peril. Plans were in place to restore the hotel, turning it into senior housing.

The Downtown Joplin Alliance also provided an update today during the City’s briefing. According to Lori Haun, the company has coordinated with a structural engineer from Bobbi Campbell and Associates out of Kansas City. The engineer planned to be on site today to conduct a structural assessment. The Downtown Joplin Alliance expects to get the assessment back in a week to ten days.

The building also suffered water damage to the lower levels.

According to police, there have been incidents of trespassing in the building.

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