Historic Bowling Green building to be demolished following fire

The Bowling Green Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 1025 State Street.
Published: Jul. 21, 2023 at 6:26 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Bowling Green Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 1025 State Street, a cluster of attached businesses that includes the Kerrick Bachert Law office, Dezign Tees and the local office of Senator Rand Paul.

According to Katie McKee, the Public Information Officer for the Bowling Green Fire Department (BGFD), the BGFD received the call at 1:45 a.m. and had firefighters on the scene within four minutes. At that time, she says there was heavy smoke and much of the building was engulfed in flames.

No injuries have been reported in relation to the fire. The Bowling Green Fire Department has worked throughout the day to monitor and control any rekindling. A section of Chestnut Street and State Street between 10th and 11th Avenue was barricaded for much of the day, though it is now open to one-lane traffic.

Brad Schargorodski, Bowling Green Code Enforcement Manager, said that the section of the road will remain one-lane traffic through the weekend.

Staff with Kerrick Bachert released a statement saying that they are thankful to the first responders for their quick action and that they are thankful to the Bowling Green community for their support as they assess damages and find a new base of operations.

The office of Senator Rand Paul released a statement as well, saying:

“We are thankful for the Bowling Green first responders who arrived quickly to the scene to put out the fire, and are continuing to work with authorities to assess damages and to determine a cause. We have a very well-established emergency management plan and have the ability to continue operations that will not impact our work helping Kentuckians.”

The cause of the fire is still unknown, and will likely remain unknown for some time.

“Typically, investigations can last anywhere from two to six months. Once it is safe to enter the building, our investigators will go in and start collecting evidence and collecting information, and it’ll be a few months from then before we actually get a cause,” said McKee.

Schargorodski said that the building will be barricaded off for the weekend as the business owners gather insurance information and make a plan for their next steps.

Beginning on Monday, the remaining portions of the building will be demolished.

Telia Butler, the Downtown Development Coordinator for the City of Bowling Green, said that with the building’s rich history, it is hopeful that artifacts from its’ golden years can still be recovered for the sake of historic preservation.

“That space is at least 120 years old, give or take. One of the most iconic businesses that used to live there was the Royal Music Company, and that space has been vacant with just some Royal Music artifacts for quite a while,” Butler explained.

While the historic building will see its last days this weekend, many Bowling Green residents reflect fondly on their earliest memories with the Royal Music Company.