Investigators continue search for clues at the Beverly Drive-In - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Investigators continue search for clues at the Beverly Drive-In

Hattiesburg, MS (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg historic landmark is gone forever. The Beverly drive-in theater was destroyed in an early morning fire Saturday.

Investigators began looking into the cause Monday morning.

Property owner Suzette Hargroder said, "even though it wasn't open, it was still a part of Hattiesburg."

 It was ripped apart by hurricane Katrina, now, a fire has finished off what was left of the theater.

Hattiesburg Fire Department spokesperson Geneva Morgan said, "it was a huge fire."

 Hargroder was shocked as she watched what was once her home and family's business reduced to ruble. "It's sad to see it. It's hard to look at just steel beams up there."

Steal beams that Hattiesburg fire investigator's say, are no longer structurally sound. Which is one of the reasons the investigation was put off until Monday morning.

"We have called in the State Fire Marshall's office to assist us, and they have called in A.T.F., we also had Picayune bring in an accelerant dog.

 Morgan said, "it could take months to determine what sparked the blaze. However, they do know it wasn't caused by electrical issues.

"it's a process of elimination" said Morgan, "we were able to eliminate that because there was no electricity hooked to it. So, it's got to be something that was incendiary to cause it.'

Hargroder said, "people were breaking in all the time, so I  assume because it was so cold, somebody went in to start a fire to keep warm."

The Beverly drive-in was listed as a historical and endangered site in Hattiesburg and Morgan said, investigators will continue to comb through the debris to figure out the cause.

"We are going to do our best to find out exactly what caused this."

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