Historic Cape Girardeau mansion burns

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 | 10:21 a.m. CST; updated 11:24 a.m. CST, Tuesday, February 10, 2009

CAPE GIRARDEAU — Fire caused significant damage to an old and historic mansion in Cape Girardeau.

The blaze occurred around 7 p.m. Monday at the A.R. Ponder House. Fire departments from several neighboring towns were called to assist. The home's interior sustained a large amount of damage from fire, smoke and water.

The three-story brick home was built in 1905 by railroad executive Abraham Russell Ponder. The building is owned by Jay Purcell, a county commissioner who was running it as a bed-and-breakfast.

The cause of the fire has not been determined. Fire officials said it appeared to have started in the basement.


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