Hinds County Armory on fire - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hinds County armory will probably be rebuilt

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The Hinds County Armory on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson was consumed by fire Tuesday afternoon. The Hinds County Armory on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson was consumed by fire Tuesday afternoon.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It appears that the old national guard armory building at the fairgrounds in Jackson, will be rebuilt after a huge fire Tuesday. The building, originally built in 1927, was in the process of being saved from a caved in roof.

The state insurance department believes the fire started from a spark from a welder's torch from people rebuilding the roof of the structure. That early finding was backed up by Agriculture and Commerce    Commissioner Cyndie Hyde smith.  

"It appears from the welding, from the arcs that were coming down, (some) may have gone into some of the wood," said Smith.

The Mississippi Heritage Trust placed the building on its list of endangered historic landmarks in the state, hoping to raise awareness before it was to be torn down.

In July 2012, the Mississippi State Fair Commission voted yes to use a $600,000 grant to pay for some critical work to keep the armory standing.

According to the Mississippi Heritage Trust, the armory was completed in 1927 for the Mississippi National Guard. The building was used as a training facility for nearly 50 years. It was damaged in 1979 by a flood.

The architect on the rebuilding project, Belinda Stewart of Eupora, is not 100 per cent sure the structure can be rebuilt.

"I don't know for certain yet, there will be more investigation. Our structural engineers haven't been on site yet."

Ken P'Pool, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, believes the building can be saved.

"The building is worth saving," said P'Pool. "it's an important part of Mississippi's history."

So does State Senator David Blount of Hinds County. Blount chairs the state senate's Public Property Committee.

"This is a building that Mississippians left from to go fight in World War II. We need to save this building," said Blount.

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