Ford Lofts Fire, Downtown Joplin


Heavy smoke in the basement due to a vehicle fire, Joplin Fire now investigate

(64801) — Shortly after 10:45 PM Joplin Fire Department were dispatched to the Ford Lofts building, 228 South Joplin.

Radio reports provided tell us there was a vehicle fire in the basement that caused the sprinklers to activate. The sprinklers were very effective to put down the fire but that caused a lot of smoke.

Joplin Fire then extinguished the fire completely. Fire declared out at 11:21 PM.

JFD began their investigation into the fire, telling residents it could be up to two hours before they are allowed back into their apartments. More information as it becomes available.


Joplin Supply Company built the structure and completed it in the 1920s. They assembled mostly Ford vehicles and sometimes tractors. There is a vehicle elevator on the southwest corner of the building. Although it now houses the gym for the building.

The large glass areas on the south and east was the large showroom where you could view and purchase a car. The original tile remains in what was the showroom is now the lobby of Ford Lofts.

Parking for about 30 cars is in the basement. That is where the fire took place Saturday night.

“The Joplin Supply Company Building, at 228 South Joplin Avenue in Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri, is a five-story, two-part vertical block commercial building. It is located on the north side of downtown Joplin, one block west of Main Street. Constructed in 1923 by the Joplin Supply Company, the building functioned as an auto and tractor showroom and as an assembly plant for Ford Model T cars from the time it was built until 1931. It has a steel reinforced concrete structure, brick exterior walls, large multi-pane windows and simple stone detailing. The building occupies a corner lot, and the two street elevations are more highly detailed than the other two walls. The fapde faces east to South Joplin Street, and the south wall faces West Third Street. The street elevations feature open storefronts with prism glass transoms along the first floor, and even bays of windows fill the upper floors. The other two elevations are fairly simple, with concrete and brick walls, and banks of industrial metal windows. The formal entrance to the building is centered on the ground floor of the fapde. Like the large display windows of the storefronts, the entrance doors and surrounding trim are fully intact beneath temporary metal coverings. The ground floor of the interior includes an open, relatively formal display room in the front of the ground floor, along with a low mezzanine and other support spaces to the rear. The upper floors all have open plans, with rows of plain square concrete posts and exposed concrete support beams and floors. The building occupies almost all of the lot, and it is the only resource on the property. The period of significance for the property runs from 1922, the year construction on the building was completed, to 1931, the year the last Ford Model T was assembled there. The building has seen few changes of note, either inside or out, since the period of significance, and it appears today very much as it did in the 1920s.”

US DEPT of the INTERIOR, National Register of Historic Places

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories