Fire destroys Psychomania Haunted House in Clarksville

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by Gene Kang

WHAS11.com

Posted on February 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 29 at 5:04 PM

CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WHAS) -- Clarksville firefighters pulled out of a building after part of  a haunted house was going to collapse. There is still some smoke left over near the Green Tree Mall.

"We were considered one of the top haunts in the area and it's all gone now," Psychomania Theater Co-Owner Phil Granger said.

A nightmare came to life for the owners of the haunted house off of Lewis and Clark Parkway as the business went up in smoke. A fire destroyed nearly everything inside.

"Props alone probably $25,000 if not more," Granger said.

Flames sparked around 6 Tuesday morning, causing yellow and green-colored smoke to fill the air. Firefighters said what could have been toxic fumes kept people at neighboring apartments inside, but it was found to be harmless.

"Most of what we were getting as far as the discoloration of the smoke was probably the flame retardant that was applied to materials," Clarksville Fire Department Chief Tom Upton said.

Chad Kern worked at the haunted house along with 50 actors, students and others. Many rooms were filled with scary costumes, props, stereo systems and expensive electrical equipment.

Equipment Kern said he was remodeling with his boss when they left the building at 2 a.m. Tuesday.

"It's my heart and soul ask anybody, my family and friends. I spend more time here than anywhere else," Kern said.

This would've been their fifth Halloween season after having entertained more than 40,000 screaming fans. A tough loss to swallow as firefighters let it burn out for hours.

The building was built in the 1960's and was formerly the Translux movie house and then the Green Tree Four Cinemas.

"Just seeing how happy it made people other than myself is what I'll miss most," Kern said.

Firefighters don't know the cause.

Owners hope to relocate and will be attending a haunted house trade show next month.

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