NEVADA, Mo. — The Nevada Fire Department is investigating after a historic building collapsed on the square.

The former Masonic Temple building on the corner of Cherry and Cedar collapsed just after five last night. The Nevada Fire Department is asking the community to avoid the area since its still considered dangerous.

Troy Denney, Nevada Fire Chief, said, “Stay clear of it until they can get it torn down. If something was to happen and more of it was to collapse we don’t want anybody to get hurt or any other property damage either.”

Tuesday night a vacant building on the corner of Cherry and Cedar in Nevada partially collapsed without warning. It was built in the 1880’s and was the original home of the Citizens Bank of Nevada, Ballagh’s Drugstore, and was used as a Masonic Temple and an apartment building. But it has been condemned for several years.

Rawlings Crane out of Lamar spent four hours working through the night to take down unsteady parts of the building.

“With the height of the building we couldn’t get excavators in to keep the wall from coming out into the street on the other side. They brought a 140 foot crane in and with a concrete wrecking ball on the end of it and knocked down the parts of the structure that were leaning out knocked them in.”

Wednesday the city ordered an emergency abatement for the building owner to tear it down since it’s considered dangerous. The Bushwhacker Museum says Nevada lost a piece of history.

Will Tollerton, Bushwhacker Museum Coordinator of Vernon Historical Society, said, “It’s the passing of an era. It’s sad to see the passing of some of our most prominent landmarks. But hopefully this will encourage some of our local citizens maybe to invest the money to save some structures that remain from our town’s hayday.”

Tollerton hopes the community will push to save other decaying historic buildings.

“These are such iconic of our counties past. To see them all disappear is really a great loss.”

Chief Denney says no one was injured when the building collapsed and no other businesses were damaged.