ST. JOSEPH, Missouri- A major fire destroyed the Empire Building, a multi-story downtown St. Joseph edifice that once was occupied by Research Seeds. The structure, now left in rubble, was located at 3rd & Sylvanie. An attached building also was destroyed.
An additional fire has just been reported at the American Electric Building. Flames have been seen from the roof. Witnesses say they could see large embers carried and fall from the 3rd and Syvlanie possibly igniting the roofs of the other buildings, blocks away.
The St. Joseph News Press reports smoke filled the Interstate 229 bridge downtown as a building near 310 Sylvanie Street burned. By late Friday night, there was no indication if anyone was in the building. I-229 from S. 3rd St. and the off ramp from northbound I-229 to S. 3rd street were closed by police. Power was out Friday evening as well and was possibly related to the structure fire.