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Springfield Inn property owner reacts after three fires in March; building expected to come down Monday

Updated: Apr. 1, 2022 at 9:00 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Three fires have broken out at the abandoned Springfield Inn over the past month, leaving some Springfield residents concerned about the future of the property.

The latest fire developed around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Crews also responded to fires at the building on March 14 and March 18.

Earlier this year, Springfield’s Director of Economic Development confirmed plans to tear down the Springfield Inn and revitalize the area. Crews installed a chain-link fence around the property after the March 18 fire.

Brad Thessing, developer and owner of the property, said the fires have been a nuisance.

”It’s aggravating to have to have our fire department and our police department spend time, money and energy dealing with these types of problems,” said Thessing.

Thessing says the building is coming down Monday after delays to get the proper equipment and weather.

While sitting empty, the building has had problems with squatters.

“Someone was trespassing and been in some of those rooms,” said Thessing. “Apparently they put it on fire somehow and left it that way.”

Thessing said he took steps to keep trespassers away, including building a fence around the abandoned property. However, that doesn’t always work.

“Some of my neighbors [are] around there, then the police department basically and signs and fencing,” said Thessing. “There’s only so much a person can do I guess.”

Springfield’s Director of Economic Development, Sarah Kerner, said this area around the Springfield Inn does have plans to be revitalized.

“Change can be scary or uncertain,” said Kerner. “But I think for the most part, people see it as positive and I think that’s a real attribute for our community.”

Thessing said a Whataburger will go into the space with other venues. Kerner said people like the change.

“People are excited,” said Kerner. “I think it’s a point of pride for people on the north side to be able to say.”

No firefighters were hurt while battling the fire. It’s unclear what caused Thursday’s fire at this time.

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