Officials say Sturgeon farmhouse fire was arson

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 | 4:46 p.m. CDT; updated 7:24 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — Fire investigators determined a farmhouse fire in northern Boone County that occurred on Tuesday to be arson, said Division Chief Gale Blomenkamp of the Boone County Fire Protection District.

Fire investigators with the Fire Protection District and the Missouri State Fire Marshals Office have determined the fire to be arson because of the suspicious nature of the fire’s starting location, Blomenkamp said.

“The fire was found to be started towards the front of the house,” Blomenkamp said. “That’s a main indicator of arson.”

Blomenkamp said the incident is still under investigation and there are currently no leads.

“We want to know how and what exactly was the used to start this fire,” he said.

The details of the fire were described in a news release from the Fire Protection District:

A little before 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, fire crews from the Fire Protection District responded to the fire at 21500 N. Ponderosa Road. Neighbors called in the fire, saying they could see flames coming from the house. Firefighters from Station 6 in Sturgeon said they could see the flames from miles away while heading toward the house.

The owners, Jason and Rose Ann Wellington, rent out the house and said that the house had recently been vacated by the former tenants.

When firefighters on Engine 601 arrived at the scene, they found the small single-story farmhouse fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters extinguished what was left of the house and contained the fire from spreading in the grass. There were no injuries. Damage estimates are $25,000.

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