UPDATE | Artists Collaborative Theater leveled by fire

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ELKHORN CITY, Ky. (WSAZ/WYMT) -- UPDATE 1/26/2020 @ 7:45 p.m.
The people of Elkhorn City are playing the cast in a drama that is not a part of any script.

For the first time since 2008, the Artists Collaborative Theater is without a home. (John Lowe/WSAZ)

Late Saturday evening, the Elkhorn City Volunteer Fire Department arrived to see smoke billowing from the Artists Collaborative Theater.

“Smoke was dense, you couldn't see,” ECVFD Assistant Chief Jamie Blackburn said. “It took us about an hour and a half to get to where we can see the flames.”

It took five neighboring volunteer fire departments (including Pikeville) and six hours to finally control the flames that destroyed a community landmark.

The ACT Company had been using the building for 11 of its 15-year history, providing entertainment to neighbors in the form of productions for adults and kids alike.

ACT CEO Stephanie Richards was on her way back to Elkhorn City from Lexington when she heard the news of the fire and found inspiration in keeping the company going from her theater family.

“Last night while it was burning, we had six fire departments here fighting this fire,” Richards said. “Our theater company was here standing together and they made it possible [for me] stand up.”

The Artists' Collaborative Theater will continue to function. Richards told WSAZ that those involved in their children’s production of "The Aristocats" still have practice on Tuesday at the Elkhorn City Community Center.

Fire crews are responding to a large fire at a theatre in Elkhorn City, Kentucky.

Our sister station WYMT reports heavy smoke can be seen coming from the Artists Collaborative Theatre.

There is no word on any injuries or what sparked the fire.

Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest on this developing story.