Smoke damages Bates & Thigpen clothing store inventory

If the suits and ties at the Bates & Thigpen men’s apparel store on Third Street in downtown Baton Rouge smell smoky this morning, blame a Wednesday night fire that started in a storage/maintenance room behind the retailer.

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the store room and portions of the attic, but store owners estimated smoke damage to their inventory at $75,000, the Baton Rouge Fire Department reported in an email early Thursday. No injuries were reported.

Workers at the adjacent City Bar were the first to notice the fire, Fire Department spokesperson Curt Monte said.

Firefighters arrived on the scene at 10:42 p.m., temporarily closing Third and Lafayette Streets as they deployed four pumper trucks, one ladder truck and two support vehicles. The fire was under control at 1:10 a.m. Thursday.

The fire department estimates building damage at $200,000 and contents damage at $125,000.

The cause of the fire is unknown and remains under investigation, Monte said.

The storage/maintenance room is not owned by Bates & Thigpen.