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Editor and Contributing Writer

Featured Photograph: A ladder truck from the Opelousas Fire Department shoots water onto the roof of Toby’s Monday afternoon.

A brick facade and entrance portico are all that remained Tuesday of a 65-year Opelousas entertainment and dining landmark that burned for several hours Monday afternoon.

Several fire trucks responded to the blaze which burned for several hours at Toby’s Lounge and Entertainment Center on La. 182 south of Opelousas.

The dark brown smoke funnel rising from the building could be seen for miles in the southern portions of Opelousas. Traffic was held up by St. Landry Parish Sheriff deputies regulated traffic on both sides of 182 as flames continued to leap through portions of the building. Firefighters deployed a ladder truck which was activated an used to help elevate spread water across the building and the roof section.No fatalities or injuries connected to the blaze were reported by firefighters.

By twilight on Monday the fire at the building owned and operated by Wayne Doucet appeared to be under control. The roof of the building had noticeably collapsed by Monday night.

In a brief telephone interview with St. Landry Now publisher Carola Ann Hartley, Doucet said he has owned the business at Toby’s since 2010.

According to Hartley’s research in connection with Toby’s business history, the building opened as a membership organization in 1957. Later that year, Toby’s was opened to the general public as a restaurant doing business as Toby’s Little Lodge.

Toby Veltin, who also operated Toby’s Oak Grove in Lafayette, owned Toby’s Little Lodge in Opelousas, Hartley’s research indicates. Since 1957 the Toby’s location has been sold and remodeled under the direction of several local owners, said Hartley.

Investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office and Opelousas city firefighters are continuing to examine damage and cause of the incident.