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UPDATE: Cause of Fire Determined for Menasha's Brin Theater

MENASHA, Wis. -  


THURSDAY 8/16/2018 3:09 p.m.

Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue have determined electrical issues caused the fire at the Brin Building in Menasha.

In a Facebook post, the joint fire department released a statement regarding the results of the investigation, 

After extensive interviews, review of video and pictures of the fire scene, scene examination and processing, as well as other investigation procedures, the cause of the fire was determined to be electrical in nature.

The full statement from officials can be read in the post below:


SATURDAY 8/11/2018 7:29 p.m.

Officials are still determining what caused a fire at a historic building in Menasha Friday night.

Crews from the Neenah-Menasha Fire Department responded to reports of a structure fire at the Brin Building around 5:30. They were subsequently joined by multiple other nearby fire departments.

"First arriving crews had flames shooting through the roof in the middle of the Brin building," said Kevin Kloehn, Neenah-Menasha Fire Chief.  "The biggest difficulty was just that attic area with all the different layers of roof and ceiling... Those layers keep all the heat in."

Eight tenants of the building are now left without a home.  Four of them have been put up in hotels by the Red Cross, while the other half arranged their own places to stay.

Fire crews remained on scene until just after 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

The building, which houses multiple businesses and apartments, and formerly housed the Brin Theater for decades, suffered massive damage, and it's not clear yet if it's a total loss.  For some Menasha residents who grew up going to the theater, seeing the building in flames was an emotional experience.

"It was just a place where kids got together on the weekend," said John Barkhahn, who worked as an usher at the theater from 1959 to 1960. "It's just sad to see an old friend go."

Jon Zeininger said one of his earliest memories is seeing the Sidney Poitier film "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" at the theater.

"It was amazing to walk in, it had this humongous screen," Zeininger said. "A real part of Menasha history."

No injuries have been reported, and the cause of the fire remains unknown.  The investigation is ongoing.



FRIDAY 8/10/2018 7:00 p.m.

Various Fire Departments are responding to a fire at the Brin Theater in Downtown Menasha. 

The fire broke out around 6:00 pm Friday. 

The Theater is located at Main Street and Tayco Street. 

We have a crew on the scene, and we will have more details tonight on Local Five News at Ten.

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