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Fire destroys pre-Civil War era building

A fire has destroyed a small building that dated back before the Civil War.

The building, which was currently being used as a cabin, was destroyed by a fire Tuesday afternoon. The cabin was located in the southern part of the county off Route AA.

A fire investigator with the state fire marshal’s office was called to the scene because of the suspicious nature of the fire. The cabin was not in use at the time of the fire. AmerenUE was contacted to disconnect electricity but firefighters weren’t sure if electricity was hooked up to that particular building.

“We requested a fire marshal because of all the arson fires in the area,” said Doe Run Captain Jim Niemann. “At this point, for any structure fire we get, a fire marshal is contacted to check it out.”

The fire investigator, who was already in the county investigating another fire outside Bonne Terre, has not determined the cause of the fire. The fire is still listed as being under investigation.

The family who owns that property and the property across the road, a total of 19 acres, complained they have had many trespassers on the property since they bought it over 20 years ago. They stressed their property is private property.

“It’s hard to keep people out,” one owner said.

The sister of the woman who owns the cabin was coming home from a store when she noticed the fire and called 911. She lives up the road and was worried the fire would spread to neighboring buildings.

The woman said ironically she had just listened to the radio and heard about the fire on the other side of the county. She said she was thinking what a shame it would be if it was one of those old houses on Hazel Run Road.

When firefighters were first dispatched they were told there was smoke in the building. Firefighters arrived about 10 minutes later and were unable to save the structure.

Niemann said the cabin looks to be gutted and the items in it were likely a total loss.

Farmington, Wolf Creek and Bismarck assisted Doe Run in putting out the blaze.

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