Fire destroys USWA hall

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 1, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – A local historic building has been destroyed by fire, leaving local Union members with only memories.

The United Steel Workers of America Local 9121 office building suffered a blaze Wednesday around 4 a.m.

LaPlace Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brent Glidden said they didn’t know what happened or how and that the incident is still under investigation.

“I was called about 4 o’clock this morning,” said local Union President Kinley Porter. “They told me the building was up in flames. It’s hard to take, because it was one of the oldest buildings in LaPlace. There was a lot of history in that building. It’s a big loss. It was family oriented and a lot of kids grew up hanging around that building.”

Porter also mentioned the three and a half year strike that took place in that building against Bayou Steel from 1993 to 1996.

The building, more than a century old, has housed many different stores, including a general nick-knack store, Woodland plantation store and Jewelry store.

“I went by there the day after it happened,” Porter said. “I was talking to a man there about it and it was difficult to see it like that. We had kids birthdays, banquets and even weddings in that building. Just so much history gone.”