Lebowsky Center fire blamed on arson

posted by steelbeard1 on March 14, 2007 at 4:45 am

OWOSSO, MI — While test results are still pending, fire investigators believe the fire which destroyed the Lebowsky Center was deliberately set.

Reward posters have been placed on the theater offering up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction on arson charges.

The Owosso Community Players have 15 days to demolish the portions of the theater deemed unsafe, particularly the sagging east and west walls.

OCP Vice-President Mike Kruszowski said that the OCP would like to rebuild on the site, but engineers from the insurance company need to determine what can be saved. Care will be taken during demolition to preserve undamaged portions of the structure.

Unfortunately, the OCP’s fire insurance policy does not cover replacement costs, but it does cover demolition and selected other costs. A contractor will be hired to begin work on the building.

If you wish to make a donation to help rebuild the theater, their address is:
Owosso Community Players
P.O. Box 606
Owosso, MI 48867-0606

More details from The Argus-Press

WLNS Video Update

Flint Journal.

Theaters in this post

Comments (1)

steelbeard1 on March 16, 2007 at 11:48 am

There is a poignant video tour of the fire damaged Lebowsky Center at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gju6f8e_D1M which shows that much of the theater escaped serious damage which shows hope that the theater can be rebuilt. The Owosso Independent newspaper dated March 11 also has a tour with an article which a PDF is at View link The fire safety features typical of 1920s vintage vaudeville theaters worked perfectly during the fire. The smoke louvers on top of the stage house (nearly a full story higher than the theater’s roof) opened up as did a steel curtain which dropped over the proscenium arch closing the stage from the auditorium until the fire spread to the theater’s roof. The firewalls kept the fire from spreading to the two story front section so the lobby only suffered water damage as did the upstairs corridor. The upstairs office showed no obvious damage, but the wall clock is frozen at 11:08, the late night time when electricity was cut.

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