PUEBLO — On Monday, the Pueblo Fire Department responded to a large fire that broke out at the Albany Events center near 7th and Albany in downtown Pueblo.
At around 4:40 p.m. the Pueblo Fire Department told News 5 that pieces of the building began collapsing and that they expect the front wall to collapse. The Pueblo Fire Chief told News 5 that they evacuated nearby buildings, and he said everyone was able to get out of the area safely. News 5 was told all of the surrounding businesses were partially out of power because of the fire.
More than 200 people who were staying at a nearby motel were displaced due to the fire, the Red Cross set up a shelter to assist them at Central High School.
Tuesday, bystanders passed by the building's remains throughout the day, including those who hold the venue dear to their hearts.
“When we were kids we used to sleep here and all of our family members that have passed away… We had their services here," said Rita Rivera, whose Uncle used to own the Rivera Funeral Home that dates back to the 1950s and formerly occupied the space.
Rivera repeatedly called the fie "devastating".
Quianna Valdez was married in the chapel inside of the Albany Event Center back in 2015.
“Sunday was actually our anniversary on the 8th, 6 years," she said.
The couple was planning on renewing their vows soon back inside the chapel.
“I didn’t think it would be so heartbreaking, until i actually saw it and it’s very heartbreaking, cause those photos from my wedding are just so happy and joyful… Everyone’s having a great time and just seeing it now, burned down to nothing is devastating.”
The Albany Events Center is over 100 years old. Fire Captain Woody Percival told News 5 that his biggest concern with buildings this old is they were built before modern-day fire codes, which can allow the fire to spread faster.
No one was hurt, but the cause of the fire is under investigation.
UPDATE: Pieces of the building have started collapsing. Majority of the roof just caved in, @PFDPIO expects this front wall will collapse any moment now. The Albany is over 100 years old. There’s rumors that it could’ve started from construction, but nothing confirmed. @KOAA https://t.co/CW1SQOw9rI pic.twitter.com/siBD8w7HyH— Natalie Chuck KOAA (@NatalieChuck) August 9, 2021