First responders worked throughout the night on Tuesday, Feb. 20 to fight the blaze that consumed Sirloin Stockade, located on Martin Springs Drive in Rolla.

According to City of Rolla Fire and Rescue Chief Ron Smith, the fire, which was deemed accidental, began when an old air handler on the roof malfunctioned. According to him, the handler was a 1978 model, which he described as “very old.”

One of the main issues with the incident was the quiet way the machine malfunctioned. According to Smith, it began by smoking and the fire didn’t show itself right away. This caused a delayed response. According to investigators, the fire was in the attic and roof area for approximately 30 minutes to an hour before it became visible.

Thankfully, the fire’s head start did not cause any casualties.

Smith explained that early in the incident, fire fighters were forced to switch to an external method of quelling the fire, due to the lightweight structure of the building. According to him, the building was susceptible to heat, and was not safe for firefighters to enter to extinguish the fire from the inside.

Even thought the building was a loss, with extensive damage, Chief Smith stressed the important thing is everyone was safe, including the first responders who arrived to handle the situation.

“Our personnel worked very hard,” he said. “It was a valiant effort on our firefighter’s behalf,” Smith said, adding his men “worked hard without fail.”  The 25 firefighters on the scene worked throughout the entire night in rain and freezing temperatures. Master streams from three ladder trucks were used to extinguish the fire, according to City of Rolla Fire and Rescue.