From the Mason City Globe-Gazette (Mason City, Iowa), dated November 23, 1945:
Origin of Terp Ballroom Fire Still Mystery; Damage is Estimated at $100,000
Austin, Minn. – Origin of the fire which destroyed the $100,000 Terp ballroom here Thursday still remained a mystery Friday. The fire alarm came 14½ hours after the ballroom was locked up from previous use.
The fire apparently started in the attic of the tile building and quickly spread through the frame interior. An alarm was sounded shortly after 6:30 Thursday morning, but firemen found it too late to save the structure.
The roof collapsed and the walls began caving in. Firemen tore down what walls were left standing to prevent any accidents.
Manager Clifford M. Nesbet said the building itself, without fixtures, cost $87,000 when built shortly before the war.
The Terp ballroom is owned and operated by Carl Fox of Clear Lake, who also owns and operates the Surf ballroom at Clear Lake and the Prom ballroom in St. Paul, Minn.