Jan 15, 2012 12:05 AM by Chris Welty

Fire Destroys Historic Club

A piece of history went up in flames Saturday morning.

Flames engulfed what was once a popular nightclub on Pershing Street in New Iberia. Luckily, no injuries to report and the building hasn't been occupied in years.

"Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Tina Turner, Ike and Tina. Oh there were a lot of big acts," said Garret Celestine.

For years, Leo's Rendezvous attracted musical acts and big names. Even though the club has been closed for more than 25 years, it still brings back a lot of memories.

"Leo's was the place to be. People from all over came here," said Celestine.

Saturday morning's fire wiped out an icon for the neighborhood. Fire fighters battled the blaze and put out hot spots for more than six hours. The fire was so intense, it spread to a neighboring home and fire fighters rescued a man that was sleeping.

"The building was supposed to be uninhabited, it was an abandoned building. At this point, the investigation is continuing to determine whether or not it was any type of arson or possibly accidental," said Captain Ryan Turner with the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Department.

As the flames grew, the building became weak and equipment was brought in to tear it down. A cadaver dog from Patterson was used to search through the rubble, and that rubble is all that is left of the club that meant so much to a neighborhood.

"It was tough looking at in the dilapidated state that it was in you know. They took so many years and didn't fix the place, now to see it in ashes, it's like pouring salt on the wound you know. It's gone. It can't be fixed."

Chris Welty



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