Fire Closes Curious Kids Museum


The Curious Kids Museum in downtown St. Joseph is closed after a fire Tuesday morning. Museum Director Lori Marciniak tells WSJM News she never saw any active flames, but the problem was electrical and started in the attic.

“We came to work this morning, getting ready to open at 9:30, so it was about ten after nine,” Marciniak said. “We walked in the building, and it was a very, very electrical kind of smell, like something was wrong. So, I went to the second floor and I looked through one of the big rooms, and you could kind of see a haze. It kind of looked like smoke, so we turned back around. I got all of the employees out. We called 911, the fire department came.”

The fire department got to work spraying the affected areas as the damage moved from the back of the building to the front. They had to tear out some walls and part of the ceiling. Marciniak says several exhibits were damaged by water and some aspects of recovery are still unknown.

“The structure is the city’s, the contents are ours, and we’ll certainly work together. I’ve already has several people from city come over and assure us that we’re all going to work together to make it bigger and better and fix it up.”

Two different insurance policies cover the museum. The city’s insurance covers the structure itself, which dates back to the Civil War. The museum’s insurance covers the building’s contents. Marciniak says it will be a bit of time before all insurance questions are answered. The museum will be closed for at least a month. There were no injuries.